9 - Epilogue
The bar was crowded tonight. Games in September are a lot more meaningful – in the sense that any baseball game has meaning. That meant there were a lot more people to notice Casey and I. Holding hands.
Heads were turning toward us, now and again. The Wooden Nickel isn’t exactly the most enlightened venue for the open display of masculine affection. Though it might’ve had something to do with the fact that people knew me there, and that I was an even thirteen inches shorter than normal. I’d lost a bet – or won one, depending on your perspective – and Jordan and I had switched heights. Thankfully her jeans fit me pretty well, though they were too big in the butt, too narrow around the calves. The t-shirt, some death metal band I’d never heard of, looked great on me.
It was a pretty exciting game, but I wasn’t really paying attention. Casey was talking, telling me about that time in high school he’d fixed up an old Honda Civic he’d bought for five hundred dollars from a scrap yard. He was a gearhead – who knew? I couldn’t really follow all the technical terms he was using. Honestly, I can barely even change a tire, and I can’t tell a carburetor from a crankshaft to save my life. So I’d defaulted to imagining what he might look like in ripped overalls, covered in engine grease.
“Sorry,” he said at last. “This must be so boring.”
I pointed toward the game, and shrugged. “Not as boring as baseball must’ve been. And you put up with it for more than a year.”
“I’ll tell you a secret.” Casey leaned down conspiratorially, his lips brushing my cheek. I shivered. “I was really just trying to get into your pants.”
“Oh, is that all?” I turned my lips toward him. A few people at the bar looked our way. I tried not to notice. “So if I keep listening to you talk about torque ratios or whatever, can I get in yours?”
“Literally, if you want.”
I kissed him, soft and simple. But then gave him a more serious look. “I do enjoy listening to you talk about this stuff, though. Even if I can’t really follow it. It’s fun to see you passionate about something, and know that you want to share it with me. How come you never opened up about it before?”
“I guess I was just nervous. You’re a pretty intimidating guy.”
“Oh I am not.” I slapped his bicep playfully. At my reduced size, it was nearly as big around as my thigh. “I’m a total softie. You just have to get to know me.”
He pulled me closer, saying nothing. The two of us watched the game, cuddling like this, and I made a point to ignore all the curious glances. Until Jordan returned, and everyone in the bar immediately decided to find somewhere else to look. Being caught staring had suddenly become considerably more dangerous.
“How’d your game go?” I asked.
The six foot woman regarded me sourly. “Lousy. I lost twenty bucks. This height of yours has me all screwed up. The cue felt too short, the angles were all wrong.”
“It’s a poor craftsman who blames their tools.”
She muttered something under her breath. The only words I could make out were, “...give you a tool…”
“I don’t know. Borrow my size next time you want to go to the gym. Use it to your advantage.”
She flexed, smirking. “Do I look like I need your pity-height?”
The three of us ordered another round, and watched the game. I knew they were only interested in it for my sake. But that didn’t mean they weren’t interested.
“So,” Jordan drawled, as our all-star closer charged out of the bullpen, and the crowd on TV went wild. “What do you guys want to do after this? Karaoke, or…?.”
Casey laughed. “Don’t start that again.”
I raised my hand. “Actually. I had an idea about that.”
My two much larger friends looked at me. Casey merely looked curious, Jordan’s expression much harder to read. Like a professor with a particularly challenging student. Hopeful they’re about to hear the right answer at last.
“I’m guessing you’re looking to shed all that extra height pretty soon.”
Jordan winked. “I’d like to get out of these boy shorts and into a dry martini, yes.”
“So we should go back to your place, and you can do that.”
She considered, then nodded. “Easy enough. But tell me, oh Field Commander. Was there more to this idea of yours?”
“Yes, in fact. How do you feel about letting someone else hold some of your height? At least for the length of a bad movie.”
Jordan still smiled, but I thought there was something faintly disappointed behind her eyes. “I don’t mind holding this for you,” she said, touching her chest. “Not if it makes you happy. You’re allowed to ask me to hold even more – and for everything I can do for you when that happens. If I can’t, you can trust me to say no.”
Casey was nodding.
“I know that. But I enjoy both sides. It’s nice to let someone hold you, and also nice to do the holding. Tonight, this is what I want. Okay?”
Her brow furrowed. I had the distinct impression I’d been given a test, and she was grading the answer. Finally, the corner of her lip turned up in a smile. “Okay.”
“Alright.” I sighed, relief washing over me, still not entirely sure what had just happened. “Your couch is a little too small for three normal-sized adults. But I was thinking, it would be a comfy fit for two big ones. With a very little lady in between. I’m in the mood to take care of someone small, and I would appreciate some help from my friend here.” I gave Casey’s enormous hand a squeeze. “That is, if you’re comfortable growing tonight.”
He looked wistful.
The bar erupted in cheers as our closer recorded a strike out. Bases empty, two outs. We were going to win this game.
“Let me check in with my feelings about it on the ride home,” he said. “But spending some time on the couch sounds nice, either way.”
Jordan leaned in. No one was watching us now, the whole bar focused on the game. She grinned evilly, already beginning to shrink. “And Scott? Tonight’s the night I make a scotch drinker out of you. So be prepared.”