“Mike Lik” Chapter 11c in the Panooksa Saga

I’m having some dental surgery done, and I’m not quite sure what shape I’ll be in next week so I’m posting this weeks chapter and next weeks chapter this week. The meds are already making me a bit loopy. – Tom

Idea by Tom Austin                                                       Written by Tom Austin

Revised by Tom Austin

Brad quietly entered the garage. He saw a pair of legs sticking out from beneath a car. For a moment he thought that sight was typical Mike. He leaned against a wall, and remembered how he met Mike.

Mike Lik was not his real name. It was Michael Morton Likowsky.  Brad had known Mike since he was in the seventh grade. At first Brad didn’t know what to make of Mike. Mike wasn’t wasn’t the best student. He was barely an average student. But he was a genius when it came to cars. During the seventh grade one class was called Shop. And for three months students got a chance to take apart a Volkswagen Bug. And for three more months students that were specially selected were given a chance to rebuild it, and if they were really good, to get it going. Mike Lik got the chance to take it apart. And he was one of only five students allowed to try and put the car back together again. The teacher couldn’t get the car running. Only Mike could.

Mike got it running and as a reward the school gave him the car. Some of the staff members of the school asked Mike to look after their cars. At that time Mike didn’t know that the VW Bug wasn’t supposed to run. It was a hunk of useless junk given to the school for students to tinker with.

Mike wasn’t your typical student. He was a pathetic student. But put a wrench in his hand and he was a maestro. When he left high school he went straight to work at Ralphs Garage. He was as happy as a clam. During his second year on the job a car jack slipped, and a car crashed on top of Ralph pinning him to the ground. Mike raced to save Ralph. Using superhuman strength he lift the car a few inches off the ground so paramedics could rescue Ralph. Ralph could no longer be a mechanic. One arm had been crushed. While he was still recovering he willed the garage to Mike. On his first day back at work he suffered a heart attack and passed away. Mike learned from his employers lawyer the garage was now his.

This is when Brad came back into Mikes life. Brad was driving a Gremlin at that time. Brad was driving back from the hospital when it just stopped working completely. He pushed the car to Liks Garage.

Mike eyed Brad with suspicion.

“Are you Brad Peters”


“I’m Mike Lik, but you knew me as Mike Likowsky”

They shook hands, and hugged.

“Brad, are you aware this car of yours is used? And its frame is bent. Not badly, but damaged”

Brad swore quietly.

“It is? I thought it was brand new.”

“My friend, you got taken to the cleaners.”

Brad swore some more.

“Get it out your system. Why don’t you drive a mans car?”

“Ok, you’ve got me interested. What do you mean?”

“I can fix your Gremlin, but it’ll cost you more to repair it than it will to buy a brand new Gremlin. I can also do a half assed job that’ll get your car going. The engine will die in a few months. After which you’ll have a two ton paperweight. What I’ve got in mind is this. A lady asked me to try and sell her late husbands 1965 Mustang.”

“What color is it?”

“It’s fire engine red. It looks like a real honey. I can spruce it up or you can over time. All I’m trying to say is your car is a piece of junk. A doctor like you should have a good car. Interested?”

Brad paced all over the garage mulling over his options. He walks around the Gremlin and curses silently.

“One last question Mike. How much for a half assed job, and will the Mustang be ready by the time the Gremlin dies”

“Since we went to school together a half assed job will cost you about five hundred dollars. Normally it’ll be around eight hundred dollars. The Mustang is ready right now. It could do with a tune up but nothing more than that. I’ll sell you the Mustang for a thousand bucks for a total of fifteen hundred bucks.”

“Let’s do it Mike” said Brad and they shook hands.

“Hey Mike. How about surfacing I need to talk to you” said Brad

Mike recognized the voice. “Where the hell have you been you old Gremlin driver.”

“Will you ever forget that?”

“Don’t hold your breath.”

Mike continued to work on the car.

Brad kneels and is almost level with the bottom of the car.

“Will you please come up for air. I’m getting married.”

“I knew it, I knew it! There was something about your voice. I’ll bet you got some poor girl pregnant”

“Milly is not expecting.”

Suddenly Mike slides out from out from under the car.

“Gawd Damn, you’re on the level.. You really are getting married! This calls for a drink.”

“I’m driving so I better not. But I’ll join you for a cup of that sludge you laughing call coffee.”

“Ok. You have some sludge. I’m having a real drink. Scotch. You dirty dog, I just can’t believe you’re about to take the plunge. What is her name?” 

“I already told you Mike. Her name is Milly.”

“Getting married. I just can’t believe it. Have you decided who your best man is going to be?”

“Decided yes. Have I asked him?. No”

“Well what are waiting for ya dope. Ask the guy.”

“Well I’d sure like too, but he just won’t shut up.”

Mike starting speaking then stopped. He stuttered a bit

“You planning on asking me to be your best man?”

Brad was now smiling. 

“Finally. Some silence. I would like know if you Mr. Likowsky will be my best man?”

“You betcha you dirty dog. How much time do I have? I have to arrange your bachelor party.”

“Oh no. I don’t want one of those. Those are nothing but grief. Every wedding that I went to that had a bachelor party all ended in a messy divorce. You trying to jinx things for me?”

“Hell no.”

Brad knew Mike well. Mike had a mischievous grin on his face.

“Don’t you dare get me into trouble. If you get hookers or strippers I’ll never hear the end of it, plus Milly will have my guts for garters.”

“Alright, no hookers or strippers.”

“Come on, she wants to meet you. I lied through my teeth and said you were a very honorable guy.”

“Thanks a lot Brad, thanks a lot.”

Milly got the apartment ready for guests. BB and Mike were coming for dinner. They were the first guests, discounting the time when Brad first crashed on the couch.

Milly was fussing over everything. She and Brad had straightened up the apartment as best they could. Even things they would never ever see were dusted, cleaned, and straightened some more.

“I don’t want BB or Mike to think we’re slobs” she said.

“They won’t think that. This place is so clean Martha Stewart would be hard pressed to find a microbe – living or dead. Try to relax Milly. They’re coming for dinner so we can discuss preparations for the wedding. They’re not going to show up wearing white gloves looking for grime or dust.”

Suddenly there was a look of sheer panic on Milly’s face.

“I made roast beef. What if they’re not meat eaters”

“Then we order Chinese food.” All that did was solicit an ill timed comment from Milly.

“Thanks. You’re a great help. You male!”

Brad put his hands in the air and looked at the ceiling. He quietly recited a quote from Shakespeare. “Angels and ministers of grace defend us.”

Within seconds of Brad reciting the quote there was a knock at the door. BB and Mike were out in the hall, each cradling a bottle of wine. Luckily BB brought white wine, and Mike brought red.

Brad got up from the couch to answer the door, but was cut off by Milly who charged through the living room and looked through the peep hole.

“Not bad. Mike actually looks human.” said Milly

“Say it any louder and he just might hear you” said Brad.

As Milly opened the door Mike said hello as only he could.

“There they are. They’re the lovebirds. I told ya BB they wouldn’t be neckin’ so that’s twenty bucks you owe me”

BB defended herself. “I’ll have you know I made no such bet. Now what’s that I smell?”

“Dinner” – Chapter 11D

Idea by Tom Austin                                                         Written by Tom Austin

                                              Revised by Tom Austin

After the Dinner

As they finished the roast beef Mike paid Milly a compliment, although it didn’t quite sound like one.

“Milly that was a lot better than what I had planned had I eaten alone. BB, you are still you ravishing. Bet you didn’t know I had a crush on you in high school.”

BB was really caught off guard. So were Brad and Milly.

“Why thank you, Mike. I didn’t know you were in the same high school.”

“I wasn’t. The Bradster and I were one school district over. But you always took the same route home. Sometimes we met each other at the crosswalk nearest your school. You always looked fantastic.”

BB was trouble now. She had no recollection of Mike at all. Milly whispered to Brad if he knew any of this. He replied that it was all news to him. Milly felt it was her duty as hostess to rescue BB.

“Now if you gentlemen are finished, I’d like to discuss my dress with my bridesmaid.” They adjourned to separate rooms. Milly and BB in one, Mike and Brad in the other.

BB thanked Milly for saving her. “Thanks for the save. I don’t remember Mike at all. And to be perfectly honest I’m wondering if he wasn’t hitting on me.” Milly said she was beginning to wonder that too, and she’d ask Brad what he thought.

The bride-to-be went to the den to get some bridal magazines. When she returned, she addressed BB. “I’ve looked in Bride Magazine and I think I’ve narrowed down my choice for dresses to these two.” She showed BB her two choices.

wps961C.tmp                                       wps961D.tmp

BB’s jaw dropped and her eyes went as wide as saucers. “These are gorgeous. If I was getting married, I’d want one of these. But as your maid of honor, I feel duty-bound to remind you of the cost. These look very expensive.”

I know. And I know City Hall isn’t a very glamorous venue. Neither of us goes to church, and we don’t want to get a tied up in the religious aspect of things. We just want to get married. We want a small venue for just a few close friends, nothing elaborate. Plus, as you said, we have to be careful about the cost of things.”

BB wanted to know the details for after the wedding.

“One thing I simply must know. Where are you and Brad going on your honeymoon? Someplace exotic and romantic?”

What came next was almost the whole truth.

“After the wedding, we’re just going to toss some bags into the car, and disappear into someplace nobodies ever heard of.”

BB just about exploded.

“Are you nuts? You and that wonderful hunk of man are just going to simply “disappear”.?”

Milly knew she had to sell the idea to BB, really sell it.

“That’s the plan. I know it’s not what’s you expected. But it is what we want to do. You probably wanted to hear we were going to someplace tropical, and like you said exotic and romantic. And I’m sure that’s what a lot of brides want. But it’s not what I want, or what Brad wants. Getting married is really stressful. We want ours to start in a quiet, sleepy, town. Life is going to get crazy fast enough. I don’t want to come back from my honeymoon, be up to my armpits in debt, and then spend hours on the phone letting credit card companies know I’m changing my name.”

Tradition and logic crashed head-on. Tradition said the bride and groom should go to a place they want. And Milly did have a point. Getting married was stressful so there was a certain logic to what Milly said.

“So are you taking his last name, or are you going have one of those hyphenated names?” asked BB

“I’ve given that a lot of thought. I’ve never liked Mildred. It sounds like should belong to a junior school librarian with horn-rimmed glasses and a beehive hairdo. Plus it sounds old. So I’ve decided to stay with Milly which I think sounds younger. As for the last name, Milly Peters sounds boring to me. It sounds like one of us should be selling insurance. So I decided to become Milly Shine-Peters, which I think sounds more sophisticated. At parties, I won’t mind being called Mrs. Peters, but my credit cards will read Milly Shine-Peters.”

Mike wandered over, mildly inebriated, and tried to explain things to Milly.

“That man of your is one stubborn son of a buck. Do you know he doesn’t want a bachelor party, doesn’t want any hookers, doesn’t want any strippers? Do you think he wants a normal tux? Hell no! He says if you’re going be in white then he is too!”

Mike started to become more inebriated. He brought a small flask of scotch with him. He soon became more annoying than he was entertaining. Brad called him a cab and poured Mike in the backseat. As Brad handed the driver thirty dollars for the short fare Mike started to harangue the driver about white tuxedos. BB started to help clean up before Milly ushered her out the door too.

The Question

Brads desire to have a white tux started Milly thinking. It was time to clear the air. She called Brad into the kitchen where she was dealing with the dishes.

“We think we need to talk. And I need some really some honest answers. Have I done something that I’m not aware of to make you unhappy?. Because in the whole time you’ve known me you’ve never once made a pass at me, never tried to get in my pants, nothing. And right now you really have me wondering. Am I that unattractive to you?”

“Quite the opposite.I find you the most attractive woman in the world. If I didn’t I wouldn’t want to marry you. I just didn’t want you to think I was some knuckle-dragging Neanderthal whose only interest was having sex.”

“OK. But that doesn’t answer why you’ve never made a pass at me. I’m a woman with wants, needs, and desires. And one thing a woman wants and really needs to hear is that she’s needed and desired.” She had her back to Brad when she said this. Brad thought it was the proper occasion to make up for lost time. He stood right behind Milly and slowly undid her blouse.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” asked Milly.

“I’m trying not to be a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal whose only interest is sex. I’m a guy who has behaved like a fool and needs to make it up to the woman he loves.”

He continued unbuttoning Milly’s blouse. Milly pretended not to look but secretly watched his progress. When he had undone four buttons he slowly slipped his hands inside her blouse, taking care not to startle her. His hands cupped her soft satin bra. Then with his index finger, he slowly circled her nipples till they were erect.

“I hope you know where this could end up.”

He kissed her neck gently with soft feather-like kisses.

“Oh, I know where this could go.”

She felt him gently squeeze her breasts. She could sense him becoming more and more aroused. His breathing quickened. His pulse quickened. What he was doing was slowly getting her aroused too. His hands came out of her blouse, and he resumed unbuttoning only this time with more purpose. Once he had undone all the buttons he gently pulled the blouse out of her jeans. His hands soothed and caressed her tummy. She let out a slight shiver.

“Why are you doing this to me. You’re making me crazy.” she moaned.

“You asked me to wait till our wedding night. I respect that request. You asked me if you had done anything to make me unhappy. The only way to answer your question was to get you hot and bothered. Because you get me that way every time I look at you. You may not see it, but I assure you it really happens. And that white tux thing, well I’m a virgin too.”

There was a smile on Milly’s face, and a gleam in her eyes that was never there before. She finally knew she could trust Brad fully.

“Care to join me for a shower? You got me all hot and bothered.” asked Milly.