Pete Fusconi’s just reward for being a damned lousy friend played out in front of his peeping eyes. In the high-rise apartment building, directly across from where Pete stood watching with binoculars, Misty Wilson clutched a pill bottle in her hand.
The appearance of utter desperation on her beautiful face said Misty meant business.
What could he do? How could he stop her?
He lowered the binoculars, allowing them to hang from his neck and reached into his back pocket. His hand shook so hard he dropped his wallet after extracting it from his tight jeans. The fat contents spilled across the terrace.
Bits of folded paper, business cards, and money caught by the stiff breeze, spiraled through the wrought-iron railing. Eighteen stories below, the New York street hummed with traffic making chances of retrieving anything nil.
Thankfully, the particular dog-eared and yellowed card he’d wanted most happened to fall off to the side. Pete dove for it.
Misty’s home phone number.
In the next instant, when unclipped his cell the sight of the LCD display made his heart sank.
The low battery symbol taunted him. So much for the latest evolutionary battery eating bitch!
He glanced at the number on the card and dialed anyway. When he put the cell to his ear it rang. Some of the alarm zinging along his nerves calmed.
If only he could talk to her, he’d find a way to straighten this out before she did something stupid. As the phone continued to ring and she didn’t answer, however, the panic returned.
He took a second look at the number on the card. Damn!
He’d dialed wrong. Pete tried again, but his screen went blank.
Just like Misty Wilson would be if he didn’t find a way to stop her from taking those pills. Or was this just his conscience making him crazy?
His family often said he’d traded his excessive drinking for rabid paranoia.
Pete needed to talk to her to make sure she wasn’t about to take her life. He had to make certain this wasn’t a product of his overly active imagination.
Guilt, because Pete failed to look in on her now and then like he’d promised his deceased friend.
No way could he make it physically there in time to keep her from swallowing the pills. She lived in the penthouse apartment of a prestigious building and visitors didn’t get past the doorman without permission.
Maybe the doorman would listen, but Pete doubted it.
Lifting the binoculars a second time, Pete took a second to focus. Spying on her every Thursday while he visited his lady friend didn’t qualify as looking in on her.
Sticking his dumbass head out of the kitchen to offer a meager nod or a wave when Misty came into the Fusconi family deli every afternoon didn’t qualify either.
Misty still had the bottle in her slender hand, fixated on it with her big eyes. She twisted the lid. Pete had to do something. Anything. Her husband, John, had killed himself with pills.
Somehow he had to get her attention. He lowered the glasses again and flashed the terrace light on and off several times in rapid succession. With the light on he waved his arms. Even without the field glasses, their buildings were close enough it looked as if he’d gotten her attention.
She turned off the small table lamp next to her. She must be watching him. He knew she occupied her time watching people out her window. He’d seen her doing it dozens of times.
Please let her be watching him. Had he lost his friggin’ mind?
Pete had no idea what to do next. The funky blues playing on the stereo just inside the terrace door gave him a crazy idea.
Actually, a f’ing stupid idea popped in his mind, but how was he supposed to think straight under these extreme circumstances?
Pete tossed his useless phone aside. It skittered across the indoor-outdoor carpet, coming to rest at the edge of terrace. Taking more care with the binoculars, he placed them on one of the two tables.
Because he had nothing else, Pete danced to the music and began to strip.
If that didn’t get her attention, then he didn’t know what would.
He started with his sweater, and then realized he’d pulled it off too damned fast. Now what? He couldn’t put it back on again.
No time for start-overs!
Stripping was harder than he thought. He roped the sweater behind his butt like a towel and seesawed it back and forth. If he looked like an idiot, he didn’t give a shit.
Misty Mancusco’s life was more important than his male vanity. Besides, he didn’t have much to begin with as his past conduct had revealed.
He’d known Misty forever. Their families had been close their entire lives. He’d been friends with her deceased husband…actually more like drinking buddies.
John had killed himself with sleeping pills, too, not long after he’d married Misty. No way would she commit suicide like her husband.
Pete tried for sexier, certain he looked like a complete and utter fool. It didn’t take long before he’d had enough of the f’ing sweater. He tossed it aside.
Next, he reached for the zipper on his jeans, grateful he wasn’t wearing socks and shoes. No way could he make that look sensual.
He took his time unzipping and humped against his hand. When he moved the jeans down his hips, his legs tangled and he tumbled forward against the wrought-iron railing. While leaning against the rail he dropped his jeans to the floor, stepped out of them. The sight of the sidewalk so far below sent a chill up his back. Damn!
Pete did a moonwalk away from the edge before he killed himself in an eighteen-story fall.
All that kept him from total humiliation were his tightie-whities. He rubbed his flaccid package as he danced. He’d probably never get hard again after nearly throwing himself to his death.
He turned around to wiggle his ass and lowered his briefs. This time when he stepped out of them he was more careful. No more missteps.
Like a miracle from above, he saw his redemption!