Something Wicked This Way Comes

Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Flings #2

This is the second short story in my Friday Flings series. Called Restoration, this story is about second chances. As always, I hope my readers will leave constructive criticism and let me know what you think of the story. Have a wonderful weekend, my friends!

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RESTORATION

By Tucker McCallahan © 2013

I stared at the parking ticket stuck to the driver’s side window of my 2010 Dodge Avenger and wanted to yank the parking meter out of the curb and brain the first cop I saw. When I got downtown for my appointment I was already running fifteen minutes late, just one more problem in a day filled with them. As usual, parking was impossible, so when I found a space five blocks from the building I needed to be in, I swung over and parallel parked.

I managed to curb my brand new tires, which pissed me off, but I was hurrying. I also spilled my non-fat mocha (with two shots of espresso don’t skimp on the whip) on my tie and burned my tongue. All this was small potatoes compared to the stellar start of my day, the blow out argument Lane and I had that ended with his confession he’d been cheating for two weeks. Fucker couldn’t even confess properly. He’d been cheating for a month. I hacked his email.

What a tool.

Then I parked and discovered the meter was broken. I put a quarter in the slot and it didn’t register any time. So thinking the upstanding employees of the city would check such a thing before issuing a ticket, I left the car there and scrambled for my appointment. Now, I stood staring at a ticket for seventy-five fucking dollars. They had to be out of their damn minds!

I fumbled my phone out and brought up my camera, setting it to take video. Then I stamped the time and date on it, and proceeded to record myself putting another quarter in the fucking meter while I narrated how I shouldn’t have to pay the stupid ticket, because the meter was broken. Once I got the stupid thing done, I checked to make sure it recorded and sent it to my email.

I wasn’t sure how this day could get any worse. My client left when I didn’t show up on time for my appointment, so I lost a really good potential account. Lane was at the condo moving his shit out, so I couldn’t go home. Now I had a parking ticket to contend with on top of everything else. I sighed. My phone alerted, the sound it makes when my email cycles, and I checked to make sure the video went through.

“Will? Will Andrews?”

I turned at the sound of my name.

“Oh my god. David?” I couldn’t believe my eyes. The smile on my face was automatic and I took him in my arms, hugging him before I thought about it. “What are you doing here?”

“I just took a job in that building.” He indicated the Rogers Building, a monolith slowly being restored to its former glory in the heart of downtown. I nodded; that made sense. David was one of the best restoration specialists in the country. His wedding ring glinted in the sun and with that, all the happiness left me. Memories flooded my brain and I stepped far enough away from him that we couldn’t casually touch.

“How’s Amanda?” My tone was light, civil, even kind. I’d been one of the groomsmen at their wedding. Hell, the only reason I wasn’t his best man was because his family thought his brother should have that job. The fact that David and I had a torrid affair through college, then on and off during his relationship with Amanda had little to do with me bowing out of the gig. Right.

“Uh, she’s good. Hey, do you have plans for lunch? I was just on my way out to get a bite. Let me treat you and we can catch up. I haven’t seen you in what… over three years?”

“Ah…” I racked my brain for a reason I couldn’t go, but the truth of the matter was I had no reason not to go with David. I needed to give Lane more time to move out. “Sure. Lunch sounds great.” I forced a smile.

We ended up at the Main Street Café, and despite my initial discomfort, within minutes of being seated we fell back into our old friendship. We hadn’t been able to stop seeing each other in college for a reason. David and I just clicked. He was so vibrant and full of energy. I laughed hysterically listening to the way he talked about his work and the people on his crew.

I was a professional genealogist and did family trees. Though the work I did was usually for the purposes of authenticating estate claims or other legal matters, sometimes I got some real crack pots who had more money than sense. I shared some of my zanier stories with David over sandwiches, pie, soda, and coffee. He checked his phone.

“Damn. Will, I really enjoyed this, but I’ve run over my lunch by almost an hour. I have to get back. Can I have your number?”

I bit my lip. I knew what would happen if I gave him my number. We’d go down the same road as before. I couldn’t be anybody’s down-low lover. I’d been out and proud since graduate school. I’d taken more lovers than I wanted to admit to, and I’d had two long-term relationships: nine months with Jerry and eight months with Lane. OK, so maybe those weren’t exactly long-term but they were long-term for me.

After David got married I accepted that I’d never find anybody else like him.

Now here he was again, asking for my number with that same gleam in his eye. He blatantly ran his eyes over me like he hadn’t gotten enough to eat at lunch. I got hard instantly. But this time I’d make the right decision. This time, I’d do what was good and decent. I met his beautiful blue eyes even though it hurt like a heart attack to do so.

“I don’t think that’s a good idea, David. Thanks for lunch. Tell Amanda I said hello. I hope things continue to go well for you two.”

I dropped money on the table and left before he could say anything else. He had the most confused expression on his handsome face. I felt a twinge of guilt for running out of there, but it was pure self-preservation. I still loved him, and he was married. He made his choice on a May morning four years earlier, and it wasn’t me.

I finished up my day in a fog. I went to the university library, paid my monthly fee for usage of their archives, did some research, and put in several orders for inter-library loan material that I needed for my work. I went to dinner by myself at Panera and worked while I ate. I kept seeing David’s face in my mind. I replayed memories and bits of our past, reliving our greatest hits. It was bizarre. Lane was the lover moving out of my condo, but it was David who I spent the day thinking about. In a way it was poetic justice; I’m sure Lane wasn’t thinking about me while he moved, either.

Over the next several days I couldn’t seem to get out of my funk. Everything reminded me of college, and of the years I lived in the house with my friends and David. We had all been so happy together. I’d been naïve enough to believe that everybody knew and nobody cared about my relationship with David. As it turned out, the rest of the house was blissfully oblivious. I was his secret, and he wanted to keep it that way. It killed me, but I’d maintained the façade. Never again.

Two weeks after my lunch with David I went out to Roué, one of the local gay-friendly dance clubs. The few friends I had despaired I’d never get over my breakup with Lane. Privately, I knew Lane had nothing to do with my poor mood. I needed to fuck my old college flame out of my head. Roué was as good a spot as any to meet a potential hook-up.

After finishing my third drink, I secured my place on the dance floor. My chair wore my shirt and I gyrated to a dubstep remix of the latest Usher song. Now there was a guy I wouldn’t mind spending a night getting to know top to bottom. Usher was sex personified. When he sang, “Relax and get on your back,” man, I was ready to do it.

A tall, hulking guy with a military buzz cut slid up behind me and started dancing with me. His face wasn’t much to look at, but his body was mouth-watering. For such a big guy he moved well and we danced through two numbers before he made the drink sign and I nodded. I was dry as a bone and hard as a rock. Looked like I found my hook-up for the night.

Katy Perry’s “Last Friday Night” spun up remixed to a funky, techno beat. Rather than wait for Mr. Buzz and my drink, I spun back out onto the dance floor. As the first chorus started, a pair of strong hands grasped my hips and pulled them back into a rock hard, denim-clad ridge that lined up perfectly with my ass. I groaned and ground back as my partner pressed forward, teasing the shit out of me. His heat was intoxicating against my back. Bare skin and chest hair brushed against my back and sent chills racing all over my body. He’d taken his shirt off. I shuddered. God he smelled good. I reached back and looped my hands around his neck. My fingers slid into silky soft hair. Mr. Buzz didn’t have hair…

I spun around and came face to face with David. He was bare-chested and sweaty, and holy motherfucking hell did he look delicious. A pair of Levi’s hung so low on his hips I knew he wore nothing under them, and unlike many of the patrons dancing out here on the floor, the bulge in the front of David’s jeans was real. His eyes sparkled with a combination of drink and arousal. Before I could say or do anything he slanted his full lips over mine and kissed me.

The world stopped rotating with his kiss. I soaked my boxer-briefs with anticipatory arousal as his strong tongue stroked mine, licking the roof of my mouth and flicking my teeth. His hands molded to my ass and held me pressed to that bulge, and goddamn if I didn’t remember what it felt like to be under him, over him, inside him, all from the taste of his mouth. He pulled away and continued to dance with me slowly, his hands all over me and his eyes hot on mine.

“What are you doing here?” I couldn’t help it; the question was automatic.

“Dancing.”

I pulled away from him. The flicker of hurt and uncertainty in his eyes killed me, but I couldn’t do this! “Don’t fuck around with me, David.”

“I’m not. I asked for your number. You ran out of the diner without giving it to me.”

I took a deep breath and shook my head. My arousal faded as I saw, again, the wedding ring on his finger. “Does Amanda know you’re here?”

He looked confused. “Will… we need to talk.”

“I don’t think so. You made your choice four years ago, David. You chose her. I’m not going to let you trample your marriage vows and be some-”

“Stop.” His voice was softly commanding. He reached out and took my hand. His eyes weren’t hurt now, but held understanding. “Please, give me five minutes someplace quiet.”

“Outside.”

We walked out of the club to the parking lot. Couples made out in the shadows and in their cars, or talked and laughed as they made plans for later or the next day. I turned and faced David.

“Okay… You’ve got five minutes. Go.”

“Amanda and I split up about a year ago.” At my look of utter shock he drew in a deep breath and blew it out. “I’m sorry. I thought you knew.” He shrugged. “Everybody we went to school with knew about it, so I figured you heard. Actually, I can’t believe nobody told you.”

“I moved here so I wouldn’t have to talk to any of them,” I said softly. “David, after you and Amanda got married, I gave up all our college friends.”

“Why?” He tried to pull me closer but I dropped his hands and maintained my distance.

“David… you know why.”

He hung his head, his shoulders slumping forward. He nodded and stuffed his hands in his pockets. Out here in the lights of the parking lot he looked even more beautiful than he did inside the club. His chest was broad with a well-defined musculature and glistened with sweat. I was sorely tempted to reach out and brush my hand through the hair on his chest to see if it felt as good as it looked, but I kept my hands to myself.

“Why are you still wearing your wedding ring?” I asked.

“Oh!” He looked down at his hand. “I wear it because of work. There’s a woman on my crew who won’t take the hint. She keeps her distance now that she thinks I’m married. I got so used to wearing it…” He shrugged and pulled it off, stuffing it in his pocket. I couldn’t help the thoughts in my head, that he was still lying his way through life, whether it was to a woman at his work or to our friends about our relationship.

“So…you’re divorced?” I pulled my shirt on and began buttoning it. My fingers felt huge and unwieldy.

“Yeah. It became final about six months ago. Amanda and I are still good friends; we talk almost every day.”

“Which is why when I asked how she was, you said she was good.”

“Right, and she is,” he said. “Our breakup was amicable enough.”

“What happened?” 

“I wanted kids. She agreed to consider it if I went to counseling sessions with her. So I went. You know, my dad was a drunk, unemployed, prejudicial jerk. I figured Amanda was worried about me having daddy issues. Imagine my surprise when we get in there and she starts talking about me being gay.” David’s voice was so bitter it stung my ears.

“Had you…” I forced myself to ask. “Had there been anyone during your marriage?”

The look he gave me was eloquent beyond words.

“Oh David…” I shook my head. “Why did you ever marry her?”

“I wanted a family, kids. I’ve always wanted that. I really thought the best way to get it was the old fashioned way, Will.” He looked back at the club, teeming with men. “Even if I had the occasional itch.”

“And the fact that you can’t stop scratching that itch? What did you think that was?” I didn’t know whether to be angry or just pity him.

“Look, can we get out of here? Go someplace a little more private than the parking lot of Roué to talk?”

I gazed at him. Even after three years of not seeing him I still loved him; I was still in love with him. And time after time he hurt me. The anger boiled to the surface. “David, what is it you want to talk to me about? I came here tonight to get laid, not to rehash old college days with a guy who used me and then dumped me because he wasn’t brave enough to admit he was queer. You want a quick fuck? I’m sure there are a dozen guys inside Roué who would be happy to go home with you who don’t have our history. I just got out of a relationship with a guy who did nothing but cheat on me, and I’m not interested in listening to a liar and a cheater.”

I turned to go back inside and never made it. He grabbed me by the belt loop and hauled me back. Now our bodies might line up exceedingly well, but David’s probably got about forty pounds on me – all of it muscle from the work he does. He used it to hold me to him. His scent, a combination of cologne and sweat, inundated my sinuses and my dick thumped against my zipper. Damn it.

“You done?” His voice was a growl in my ear, his arms corded steel as he held me caged against his hard, furred chest. “Yes, I’m gay. No, I don’t want a quick fuck. I want to talk to you about the future, ours. Yours and mine. Because the entire time I was with Amanda including every single guy I fucked around with, none of them compared to you. So you won’t be listening to a cheater, Will. I was faithful to you from day one, baby. Always.”

His head dropped down onto my shoulder and he sniffed at my neck. “Goddamn you smell amazing. I missed your smell so much.” His erection shoved into my hip so hard I was pretty sure I was going to have a bruise. “Please come home with me, Will.”

He kissed me then, the kind of kiss I’d forgotten two men could share. David lived and breathed passion into his work bringing old buildings back to life, and as his lips slowly moved on mine, he breathed life back into me, too. His tongue licked along the seam of my lips and then snuck inside to relearn my mouth, his hands caressing my back and my shoulders to slide down my arms. He conquered me bit by bit standing in the Roué parking lot, breaking down my resistance, and then, when I was nothing more than a quivering pile of raw nerve endings, he whispered it into my ear.

“I love you. I’ve always loved you. I never lied to you about that. Come home with me and make a home with me. Give me a reason to wear a ring again.”

So I did.

I made him toss that awful gold band. Ours are black titanium. We’ve been together for seven years now. David just finished restoring our house. Our daughter, Felicity, turned three in June. She’s precocious, loves to dance, and has David’s blue eyes. Her baby brother is due in April. We’re still arguing over names. David and I like Liam, but Felicity thinks he should be named Cheddar, after her favorite snack.

I never knew life could be this messy, or this good. But every day I’m grateful for David. He restored happiness and joy to my life, and filled the void I didn’t even know was there with the wonders of family. What began as the worst day of my life turned into paradise, and I have no regrets.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fire & Ice - Teaser

I've completed a new short story called "Fire & Ice" that's posted on www.gayauthors.org under my author name "TMcCallahan." Here's the link to the complete story: http://www.gayauthors.org/story/tmccallahan/fireice/1

Below is just a bit to see if it's something you're interested in reading. Enjoy!

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My toes were completely frozen; I couldn’t feel them at all inside my steel-toed boots. Stupid choice, but the Doc Martens looked tuff with the rest of the outfit, and like a true fag, I sacrificed comfort for fashion. I drew the line at the fingerless gloves, though.  Those were just too homeless, too grunge-ago for me to even bother trying to pull them off. Besides, it was really fucking cold out here, and my fingers were numb inside the black leather Thinsulate driving gloves I wore.

I stood in a field. That’s what it was, all pretenses aside, a big field out in the middle of Nowhere Pennsylvania, where a decent crowd of about three dozen gathered as the witching hour drew ever nearer. A bonfire burned off to one side giving us both heat and light, though there wasn’t nearly enough of either to suit me. The booze flowed freely, and a blue haze of cigarette smoke bolstered by other, thicker smoky textures hung around the crowd of post-adolescent men and women milling about, waiting to be dazzled. We all waited for the appearance of Paolo Strakos.

“He’ll be pissed about the fire.” Denny whined at us, the emo mop of his black hair falling into his eyes as he dashed a frantic glance at the bonfire.

“Too fucking bad,” one of the rugby boys growled, hands shoved in his letterman’s jacket. “It’s fucking cold out here.”

“Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Denny’s nasally whine was so goddamned annoying even I wanted to smack him.

The black Escalade rolled up, chrome spinning, windows dark, old Nine Inch Nails blasting that Trent wanted to fuck us all like animals. I shivered. That song always gave me a semi. The driver’s side window hummed down and Denny went scurrying over like the little bootlicker he was, that stupid haircut of his all but blinding him as it flopped into his eyes again.

“I told them,” Denny whined loudly. He stumbled back as whoever drove shoved him hard. He dashed a hand across his lip as though checking for blood, of which there was none, but he was a total drama queen. He slunk back up to the window. After another quiet exchange he returned to us, shoulders hunched, looking like a thoroughly beaten dog, though that’s not what I saw.

But on to that in a moment.

“He says you have to put the fire out or he’s leaving,” Denny said, authority in his voice. “And then everybody has to get into rows of six people, just like I said the first time.”

The grumbling was pronounced, but the jocks moved to douse the bonfire with the water from the coolers and the snow that was still deep in the shady areas. The rest of us dutifully lined up, and I jostled my way to a spot in the first row. This was far from the first time I’d come to one of these little midnight soirees. As a matter of fact, I was a regular repeat attendee, which disturbed me on a visceral level. I only knew that I was tired of the club scene, tired of the bar scene, tired of one night stands and anonymous fucks, and I wanted to see something exciting, wanted to see something that really proved there was more to life than fast food and reality TV. 

Paolo Strakos was all the proof I needed, and I kept coming back for more.

Denny was in his element, now. He loved this, his time to shine. His eyes were fever-bright, and his lips were swollen, though whether that was from him chewing on them or from the driver of the car smacking him no one could tell. He actually had the balls to put his hands on several of the jocks as he moved them from one line to another, snarking at them about their inability to count to six. God he was getting bold. Then he slipped on a patch of snow and stumbled into the girl next to me. Righting himself, his warm hazel eyes met my light green eyes, and for a moment, Denny looked at me like he knew. His gaze sharpened, then softened, then grew as frosty as the temperature around us, his hazel eyes narrowing suspiciously. His brown nose snapped up and he twitched his tight little ass back over to where the bonfire was being summarily dispensed. I did my best not to laugh at the little twink.

The great hissing rush as the water and cold snow hit the bonfire was immense, billowing clouds of steam blasted up towards the night sky and obliterated everything. The stench of wet wood, stale water, and old, damp earth was amazing, and I held my breath for a minute to let it pass. The doors on the Escalade opened, though the interior lights did not come on. Two sets of feet thudded against the frozen ground, clearly audible over the popping of the dying bonfire. As far as dramatic entrances went, the extinguishing of the bonfire couldn’t have served as a better audio-visual aid for Paolo.

A tall, dark figure, very lithe and graceful, next to one even taller who hulked over him moved through the steamy darkness to come and stand by Denny’s side. The hulk looped one arm around Denny’s waist, and I swear I heard the rush of Denny’s breath as he inhaled sharply, then the moan as Denny disappeared from my strained vision only to reappear a moment later, his lips bright and puffy, obviously kiss-swollen. Unexplained, unreasoned jealousy swarmed over me and I tried to tamp it down.

“All right, Paolo is here and he’s going to do one demonstration. Just one. If he stays afterwards, no questions. Anyone who bugs him gets banned from coming back, got it?” Denny was almost forceful now. Amazing what a little tongue can do for a shy boy. I fought the need to reach down and readjust my cock in my tight leather pants. Five minutes ago I’d been freezing. Now my skin was on fire, my heart raced, and my breath came in little pants.   

Denny walked a short distance away with the driver from the Escalade, and I could see enough to know that he was being thoroughly groped and well kissed. Good for Denny, I thought. He needed it. Insatiable little power bottom would end up a real pig if someone didn’t take him in hand and treat him like the bitch he was begging to be for somebody.

My attention wasn’t on Denny and his stupid antics anymore, though. Now that the fire was gone and the headlights of the Escalade winked into nothingness, the only light we had to see by was the half moon and the stars, which were unusually bright out here in Nowhere. A tall wisp of darkness within the night, his black hair gleaming under the moon and his dark eyes catching the starlight like ebon gems, Paolo stood before us, his hands clasped in front of him as though he prayed. The group of us stood in our lines the way Denny arranged us, utterly silent.

Paolo dressed all in black: bondage pants, heeled boots that buckled to the knee, a black shirt the clung to his torso, and a long, heavy, Australian Outback-style leather trench coat. He had black hair that curled riotously around his ears and face, faunlike, thick and luscious. What he didn’t wear in the icy weather was a pair of gloves; his hands were bare. He took a long, slow deep breath, his shoulders rising and falling with it. My pulse sped. I’d watched this so many times. I was addicted to this man and I didn’t know why.

At that instant, his head snapped up and his dark eyes locked with mine. His hands came up in that prayerful pose and his odd, raspy voice whispered the same word he always said.

Hořet.”

He pulled his hands apart and once again, Paolo Strakos cupped pure blue flames in his hands. Only this time he did it while staring straight into my eyes. My heart raced, my blood pounding frantically through my vessels. I wasn’t sure how that was possible. I thought all the blood in my body was in my dick; it felt like it was going to bust right out of the front of my leather pants.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Flings

I'm starting a series of flash fiction stories just for the followers of my blog. These stories won't be posted anywhere else. Right now I'm shooting for a minimum of two per month but hopefully I'll manage one a week once my editing schedule lightens up. The folks over at Gay Authors do prompts every week and I'm not at all ashamed to say I've used their prompts for this first story, Snowmen. I hope everyone enjoys it, and as always, comments are welcome.

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Snowmen

“Here we go again!”

“Really, Ter, if all you’re going to do is yell, then go upstairs.” I wasn’t in the mood for another of his outbursts. I already had a mess on my hands, not to mention a yard full of adolescents to supervise. I didn’t need a 40 year-old adolescent to supervise, too.

“Fuck you, Chris.” He threw the dish rag, sopping wet from cleaning up all the melted snow the kids tracked in, into the sink and stomped through the great room, up the stairs, and down the upper hallway. Slam!

Yep. I could’ve predicted that. Great. I sighed. We’d been fighting more and more since his layoff two months earlier. I loved my husband more than anything. But the man needed to work. He needed the physical exertion, the daily routine, and the social interaction with other adults. He was not cut out to be a stay-at-home dad.

Then again, neither was I.

We had two beautiful children who we loved and spoiled. Our eldest, Laurel, just celebrated her tenth birthday. Her younger brother, Ansel, would be seven in the spring. We adopted them out of the foster care system; the children had lived with us since Ansel was a toddler. In the nearly five years that we’d been a family, Ter and I had never fought like we had since he lost his job. Any minute I was ready for one of our silly and ridiculous arguments to escalate and the D-word to come flying out of his mouth.

I looked down at the shattered glass on the floor. This mess was a prime example. A year ago Ter would’ve helped me clean up the broken window. Then he would’ve put on his stern face, sat Laurel and Ansel down, and asked who was responsible for breaking the window. Once we got the truth of it, he and I would’ve jointly meted out fair and appropriate discipline. Whether that meant no snow play with the neighborhood kids for the remainder of the winter or assigning chores until the new window was “paid” for, he and I would’ve done it as a team.

Instead, when the snowball flew through the air and shattered our window, Ter jumped up from his near-permanent position on the couch in the great room, lumbered to the hole, and screamed at the kids in the yard, ours included. He let the snowball melt on the floor and the glass lay there while he verbally abused children, half of whom had no idea what he was even talking about since they’d been sled-riding over our hill and hadn’t seen the snowball break the window in the first place. I didn’t have to ask them this to know it; it was common flipping sense. By the time I got to the first floor from my studio in the attic, Ter was on the verge of a heart attack and the shattered window glass lay in a pool of water half an inch deep.

I finished cleaning up the broken glass and melted snow. I’d have to put plastic over the window until the glass could be replaced. Heaving another sigh and wishing my husband was helping me, I pulled my boots, gloves, and coat on and trudged out toward the garage. The kids cut trails all over our driveway chasing each other and gathering up snow. In addition to the snowball fight that broke the window, they constructed a snow fort and a pair or snowmen. I smiled at the snowmen, which seemed to be holding hands. Maybe I was imagining that, but the sticks the kids used for arms just happened to connect in the center.

Play in the backyard slowed and several of the kids shot furtive glances in my direction as I opened up the garage and went inside. I took note of which kids seemed overly interested in me. All the kids that played with Laurel and Ansel knew they had two dads and wouldn’t give me a second glance under normal circumstances. Gathering up a large piece of heavy-duty plastic, my duct tape, and my staple gun, I headed back inside.

Laurel! Ansel! Time to come inside! Clean up and send your friends home!”

I got the usual whines and protests, but when I turned with my arms full of supplies to repair the broken window and they saw my face, the protests died away.

By the time I got the window covered, Laurel and Ansel were inside with their winter gear off and the snow they tracked in cleaned up. They were both on the couch waiting to talk about what happened. We hadn’t eaten dinner yet. Hell, nobody fixed dinner yet. Ter was still shut up in his office. I knew if I didn’t go make nice he’d sleep in there on the daybed.

I was so tired. I was working sixty hour weeks so we could make ends meet since Ter’s unemployment was a pittance of his last salary. On top of that he still expected me to do most of the childcare for the kids and handle over half of the meals. I was resentful that he hadn’t taken over all the food shopping and meal preparation since he was at home all day. He didn’t even take care of his share of the housework anymore. The one time I confronted him, it turned into a huge blow out argument. He screamed at me that he was depressed and the kids and I sucked the life right out of him.

He agreed to see a therapist but he hadn’t followed through. I worried about him. I’d never seen him like this, and I didn’t know what to do for him. He didn’t seem to want me around as anything other than a cook, maid, or verbal sparring partner. After twelve years of marriage I wasn’t ready to lose the man I loved over something as mundane as a lost job.

I had the talk with Laurel and Ansel, who were both more subdued than usual. The broken window had been the result of a snowball fight between two warring entities. They had been on one side and several of the neighborhood kids had been on the other. I understood now why the other kids eyed me up when I walked to the garage; they were wondering if Laurel and Ansel had gotten in trouble and if I’d already called their parents. I hadn’t, but I would. Not that I expected anybody to pay for our window. Things happened; anybody with kids understood that. But as good neighbors we tried to keep each other in the loop. All the kids should know better than to have snowball fights next to any of the houses.

I felt overwhelmed. My left eyelid was doing that thing where it twitched involuntarily. That was nothing but stress, and it hadn’t happened since we had to put Ter’s mom in the nursing home. I broke down and called my parents, something I did rarely. After hearing my voice, though, my mom agreed to keep the kids overnight.

“You sound like you need a break, Chris.”

“I do. We do. Thanks, Mom.”

“Of course. That’s what grandparents are for.”

I packed Laurel and Ansel up and took them to my parents. Though I doubted he’d leave his office, I tacked a note explaining where we’d gone to the table. I stopped off and picked up dinner for us on the way home as I had no intention of cooking.

When I got back to the house, I put the Thai food on the counter and opened the wine to let it breathe. My note was no longer on the table and I cursed inwardly. The one time I was sure Ter would stay inside his shell brooding, he came out and I wasn’t here to talk. I hoped he would understand why I’d taken the kids to my parents’ house. I didn’t want to spend any of the precious time we’d get alone tonight fighting.

I poured two glasses of wine and headed upstairs with them. When I got halfway up the steps I heard Placebo’s Without You I’m Nothing disc playing. I closed my eyes and bit my lip, gripping the wine glasses a little tighter. The first time Ter and I made love was after a Placebo concert. He’d been every bit as hot as Brian Molko, the lead singer, and the way he looked at me… like the sun rose and set in my eyes.

I hadn’t seen that look from him in a very long time.

I made it to the top of the stairs and the delicious aroma of Noir permeated the entire second floor. Ter must’ve taken a bubble bath. Oh god, I was getting turned on. I gulped some of the wine, paying no attention to the glass from which I drank. I honestly couldn’t remember the last time Ter and I made love. Had it been two weeks? Three? I was ashamed that I couldn’t come up with a date. Having kids made it difficult, though, and the extra hours I worked not only cut into my schedule, they left me sapped out, with little energy for more than doing what I had to do, which lately felt like everything

Light flickered through the open doorway of our bedroom. I took another deep drink of wine. He’d lit candles. By the time I walked all the way down the hall my heart pounded like a grandfather clock on meth.

Ter had cleaned our bedroom. All the clothes that had been strewn across the floor were gone. My suits, haphazardly tossed on my dressing chair and across every other available surface, had all been hung back up or put in the dry cleaning bag, which hung from the back of our closet door ready to be taken to the cleaners. The sweet scent of lemon dusting spray blended with the lavender candles that flickered around the room, relaxing me as much as the wine. Fresh, crisp, Egyptian cotton sheets in a deep, rich burgundy covered the bed, and my husband stretched across them, his blond hair still damp from his bath.

“Hey.” I offered him a glass of wine, which he accepted. God... I’d forgotten how beautiful he could be when he was all sprawled out naked. “I got Thai take-out.”

Ter smiled at me, sipping what was a very nice Shiraz. “There’s only one thing I’m hungry for, Chris.” He set the wine glass on his nightstand and crawled over to the edge of the bed, kneeling so that he could reach me. When he slid his big, warm hands under my shirt, I shivered. He hadn’t touched me in so long. I looked down into his eyes, so blue, and suddenly I couldn’t get my clothes off fast enough.

He chuckled darkly as I fumbled with buttons and swore as the zipper on my jeans stuck. I tripped myself getting my socks off and probably looked like a damn fool hopping around with my hard-on caught in the fly of a pair of trunks. I didn’t care. I needed my skin against his, all of it, right now.

Finally I was bare. I drained the wine, moved the glass so I wouldn’t shatter it, and slid onto the bed next to him. I opened my mouth to speak and never got the chance. Ter slanted his mouth over mine with a hunger that made me groan. His tongue lanced into my mouth, the wine flavoring the kiss, and our erections bumped as he pressed his long body against me.

“I love you.” I trailed kisses along his jaw. “I’ve missed touching you and I’ve missed your touches.”

“Have you?” He lightly bit my neck. “Prove it.”

My dick leaked like a faucet. I loved it when he got all aggressive in bed. We were both versatile, but I knew with the loss of his job and all our arguing that he needed this. And I was so willing to give it to him. I rolled onto my stomach and arched my back, raising my ass up. His breath caught, such a delicious sound. I pulled a pillow down and put it under my belly so my dick would rub the sheets just right.

“Fuck me, baby.” I wiggled my hips, knowing he loved it. “I need you.”

“Oh god…” Grabbing my wrists and stretching my arms up above my head, he slammed them down and pinned me to the bed. “I want you so bad.” His dick slid along my crack in between my cheeks. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d felt him so hard. He was like fiery steel.

“Then do it.”

Ah, they were the words of twenty year-old kids or even thirty year-old lovers. But neither of us would ever see thirty again. The days of rough and tumble, unprepared sex were gone, even with the kids at my parents’ house. We both knew it wasn’t worth it. He’d planned ahead, though, and set the Gun Oil out.

His fingers slid into me, slick and wet, and I rose up, pushing back to meet them. It had been ages since I’d bottomed but god, it felt amazing. Ter’s fingertips went unerringly to my spot, working it and me like a machine.

“Ter… Oh fuck… Stop…” His other hand still held my arms stretched up over my head. I suppose I could’ve fought him but it was too hot, too erotic to be stretched out tight as a strung bow. “Ter, you have to… Oh fuck, I’m gonna shoot…”

His mouth moved over my back and trailed scorching kisses down the length of my spine as he held me down. “Come, Chris. You’re so sexy…”

I couldn’t stop the motion of my hips, jerking back and forth to meet his hand. So good, so fucking amazing, the warmth and feelings of well-being rushed up over me even as the tingles built in my lower belly and then I couldn’t hold it back any longer. I groaned long and loud and let go, coming all over the clean sheets in a massive orgasm.

My head spun, my body still filled with sparkles and tingles as Ter slowly pushed inside me. God, it was delicious. The spread and burn was almost non-existent after such a major release, and the sensation of being filled, of having him inside me… I couldn’t help it. Tears poured down my cheeks.

He let go of my wrists and twined his fingers through mine, allowing me time to get used to him. Ter wasn’t small, and it had been a while. After a few seconds, though, I got control of the emotions and nodded, squeezing his fingers. His arm slid around my chest and he kissed my ear.

“You okay? Can I move?”

“God, yes.”

I expected a power-fucking. After all, I’d already come and I knew he had to be going crazy. But no, he moved with a slow, gentle precision that had me moaning like a bitch in no time flat.

“You like that, don’t you, Chris?”

All I could do was moan and raise my ass up into his thrusts. My dick was hard and wet again.

“You like a big hard dick in your ass, don’t you, baby?”

“Ter… fuck… harder! Oh please, fuck me harder!”

“Answer my question.”

“Yes!” He was driving me insane. Every slide over my spot was sweet torment. I needed more. Deeper, harder thrusts. “The answer is yes.”

“Say it, Chris. I want to hear you say it.”

“Oh Christ…” His mouth on the back of my neck sent prickles cascading down my back. I arched into his thrusts. “I like your big hard dick up my ass. And I need you to fuck me harder, Ter. Now!”

He chuckled. Then he sank his teeth into my shoulder and got down to business, pounding into me with a relentless, unforgiving rhythm that brought me right to the brink. He pulled out and slapped my ass. “Roll over. I want to see your face when you come this time.”

I scrambled to obey, avoiding the wet spot where I’d come the first time. He slid back inside and we both gasped. “You feel so fucking good, Chris. So tight and hot.” He leaned down and mated our mouths. The hair on his belly rubbed my hard dick as he pumped into me and it was almost enough, almost but not quite.

“Gotta touch,” I gasped, reaching for my dick. He pushed up so I could stroke off, and at the first touch I knew I was done. “I’m gonna come, baby.”

“Yeah. Do it.”

His eyes were glued to my cock as his hips pistoned into me. His blond hair fell forward, shadowing the blue eyes I’d fallen in love with and I only needed a few tugs to show him what he wanted to see. I exploded, spurting up onto my stomach and over my hand. My ass clenched around him and he groaned.

“Oh yeah… that’s the fucking best…” His head went back and he came with a moan.

He opened his eyes and looked down at me, a sheepish look on his face. “I didn’t ask if that was OK.”

Lifting a hand I cupped his cheek. “What, coming inside me?” He nodded. “Well, I think it’s all right. We should’ve looked at the calendar.”

He frowned. “What the fuck does that have to do with it?”

“I don’t think I can get pregnant right now, but you know what they call people who use the rhythm method of birth control…”

Ter slipped out of me as he started laughing. “You goof.” He grinned at me. “I love you.”

“I love you.”

“I’m sorry for earlier.”

“Me too. We have all night to make up for it.”

“Good. Let’s not waste any of that time.”

We got up and headed downstairs to eat Thai take-out by candlelight. The snowmen in the yard held hands and watched us.