"Hey Rog, I need your help."
Roger Davis' eyes flickered up from the placement of his fingers on his guitar to his girlfriend. Immediately he recognized an uncharacteristic nervousness throughout her features.
She looked about twelve dwarfed in his green sweatshirt, her left hand playing with the sleeve, while the right clutched a torn piece of notebook paper. She wouldn't look him in the eye; not a good sign.
Placing his guitar in his now vacated spot on the kitchen table, he strode over to the petite brunette, arms crossed in front of his chest. If she was on smack again so help him God…
"What is it Meems?"
The girl in question sighed and the fidgeting resumed. She hated asking for help. If there was one thing Mimi Marquez was good at, it was knowing what to do and how to do it-- alone.
Groaning in frustration, the dancer flung herself on the dilapidated couch, looking at her rocker boyfriend through the mass of curls shielding her face.
"It's this stupid public speaking class, I hate it."
"Then drop it."
"It's a requirement, Rog."
Settling next to his girlfriend, the man looked at her questioningly.
"Where's this going?"
Huffing in response Mimi sat up and carelessly straddled Roger's lap, sitting so brown eyes met blue.
"I'm nervous," she murmured. It was so low Roger wasn't even sure he heard her correctly.
Dropping his head on the back of the couch, he rubbed his eyes, and then pinched the bridge of his nose.
"Lemme get this straight. You're afraid to stand-up in front of, what, like maybe twenty-five people and do a two minute speech, but stripping in front of a bunch of horny old men every night doesn't put you on edge?"
The indignant pout on her face only made the chuckle threatening to escape him harder to suppress.
"What's it about?"
"It's supposed to be, and I quote," at this she unfolded the paper clutched in her hand and read. "'A brief overview of the interesting aspects of your life thus far.' What am I supposed to say," she crumpled the paper, angrily throwing it behind the couch.
"Hola, I'm Mimi Marquez. I'm nineteen years old and live in an old music publishing factory on the corner of 11th Street and Avenue B. My hobbies include dancing at the Cat Scratch Club and kicking my smack addiction. I regularly take AZT in a bid to counteract my HIV. Thank you and good night!"
Smirking at her rant, Roger placed his hands on her hips, calloused fingers teasingly trailing up and down her sides. This was a different side of his muse, a side that she only let him see. Gone was the bravado and confidence, replaced by insecurity and doubt.
"Listen to me," the softness in his voice made Mimi life her head. "You're smart. You're confident and fiery, sexy as hell…don't let these little pricks in class get to you. You'll be fine, baby."
Wrapping her arms around him, Mimi smiled. A genuine smile, the kind she reserved only for him. She sighed in content as he began trailing kisses up her neck.
"Thanks Rog. I needed that."
"What can I say," Roger smirked, stealing a passionate kiss. "I'm just a helpful kinda guy."