Brad's bedroom was dark when he entered, out of habit his left hand reached for the light, then he remembered the text he had received. "Lana?"
Hearing his voice made her feel small, shy, and uncertain. Now she regretted the plan that had seemed so bold and brave this afternoon. "Yes dear?"
"I almost forgot and turned on the light." He didn't like the tone of her voice, she sounded scared and now he wondered if something had happened that she wasn't telling him about. "Where are you?"
"I'm in bed. Waiting for you. I thought of a game we could play." She thought about the scar on the underside of his wrist. "Unless you're too tired."
The word game was tantalizing. "I like games." He said quietly. "What are the rules?"
Her earlier fears dissolved when she heard his voice deepen. "All tell, no show. It's like Show and Tell except you can't show me anything and you can't touch me either. You tell me what you'd like to do, I'll start the timer, when you're done I'll tell you what my plans for you are. Whoever gets the other person to beg for it first, wins."
"I see. Interesting." Previous encounters flashed before him. One instance in particular came into photographic focus; he had wanted her to beg and ended up pleading with her himself. He exhaled as he told himself to calm down. The game was on, and he wanted to win. "What are you wearing? Am I allowed to get undressed, or do I have to stay in my clothes?"
"You can get undressed. But you have to stay on your side of the bed. No touching the other person. Not even accidentally."
There went his plan to brush against her in the dark. The constrast between her tone of voice and what she was saying made him think harder than he had been. "Am I allowed to get beneath the covers, or do I have to lie down on top of them?"
"You can get under the covers. I'll pull them down and fluff your pillow for you because I'm the best wife ever." He wasn't saying anything about the game, but Lana knew that he was contemplating his next move when he set his phone on his nightstand.
"That's for sure. These people who are opposed to marriage baffle me."
"Do you need help getting undressed?"
Was that an attempt to get him worked up in advance? "No thanks. I can manage. I appreciate the offer though." He unbuttoned a button and stopped. "Just out of curiosity, how would you help me if you can't touch me?"
"The game hasn't started yet. I can touch your clothes, but I have to keep my hands away from you."
"I see." His respect for her grew. He wouldn't have been able to come up with a game like this no matter how long he spent contemplating fun in bed with her. "How did you come up with this game?"
"I was just thinking about that time when we were in Florida and we tried the No Hands game. I thought it would be fun if we tried not to touch the other person at all. I'm sorry it isn't very kinky. You'll have to take a lover if you need a more exciting partner."
He chose his next words carefully, wanting to be honest with her, but wary of scaring her. "What if I tell you my plan is to tie you up?"
"You can only win if you make me beg you to touch me, or I start touching you." Despite her love for him there were certain lines she wasn't going to cross.
"You know I would never do that to you. Even if I think it would be kind of fun to try something like that. Just to see what it would be like." He started thinking again - 'I don't blame you Lana, I wouldn't let a paranoid schizophrenic tie me up either'.
"I'm already helpless."
He laid his shirt across their bed as he spoke. "Considering the shape my wrist is in I'd say I'm more helpless than you are. What did you say you were wearing?"
"I didn't say."
"Nice." His mind conjured up things she had taken off for him in the past. "Is that part of the game?"
"Perhaps. You can start whenever. Or you can wait until you're lying down."
"First I think I would take a bunch of pictures of you when your arms are over your head and the moonlight is coming through the windows. I'd make sure the room was nice and warm so you're not cold, this is a good game. I like it already." He said as he slid beneath the sheets. "Let's see, I think I would like to kiss you after your bath. I would love to rub oil into you and I'll get either your parents or mine to watch Parker and Grace so we have a nice long evening ahead of us. Your pajamas are cute, but I like it when you're nude, this game is harder to play than I thought it would be. Well done. Let me think, I would like to kiss you for a while, then I'd start moving down. I'd see if I could figure out exactly where the edge of your breast is and, wow, this game is really something. I'm having trouble concentrating on what to say next. I'm picturing the look on your face when you start getting close even though I know we have a ways to go. Once your nipples were hard I'd start kissing my way down again. I'd see if I could tease you a little, then I'd, this is a lot harder than I imagined it would be." Without any visual or auditory feedback from her he started questioning himself. "Are you turned on at all?"
Maybe this game hadn't been such a good idea. He was saying the right words, but he didn't sound aroused anymore. "Are you?"
"I was." He said truthfully. "Not being able to see you, or touch you, or taste you, is, challenging."
He sounded frustrated, Lana wondered what kind of a day he had had after lunch. "Do you want your turn to be over?"
"I guess some feedback would be nice. Do I get another turn after yours, or is this it for me?"
"You can have another turn after mine if I fail to win."
"Go ahead. I want to hear what you have to say to me."
"I just got done deep throating you. You aren't wearing anything, my bra and panties are lacy and black. How do you feel now?"
"I love you." Sincerity permeated each of the three words. "I lose, you win." He propped himself up on his right elbow and turned toward her. "I'm not even mad. Does this mean I can touch you now?"
Lana moved toward him and yawned. "How was the rest of your day?"
"It was pretty good." He put his arm around her and pulled her closer. "My uncle Dave stopped by. It was nice to see him. It's even nicer being home again. That was a fun game."
"It didn't seem like you were enjoying it."
"Just because I'm not very good at playing doesn't mean I can't appreciate your efforts. Conceptually speaking, it was grand. Very well done."
"What would have made it better?"
"Hmm, let me think, maybe having the lights on, or at least a candle, I felt very disconnected from you and I didn't like that. I guess I depend on visual cues more than I realize."
"I thought about lighting a candle. Then I thought about you getting a call that your wife had burned the house down because she forgot she was trying to set a scene for seduction and set your room on fire."
"My wife sets the room on fire just by walking into it and laying down on my bed. Actually, you don't even have to do that. That game was really incredible. I'm sorry I wasn't a better player."
"I'm sorry you didn't come home to sex games featuring hot wax and bondage rope."
"Bondage rope always seems unnecessarily cruel to me. I don't really want you to be bound and gagged or anything like that. It's more like you're my present and I want to untie the ribbons that are preventing me from seeing more of you. I'm sure this is pure math nerd on my part, but I really just like the way that ribbons look on you and I'm sorry if that makes you think I'm into hardcore kink. I wouldn't mind playing around with some of the softer stuff, but I wouldn't ever want to actually hurt you or mar your fabulously enticing skin. Anything that demeans you or makes you feel that you've been degraded is strictly off limits, I'm not into anything that threatens or...," He flipped his phone over so the screen was facing the wooden surface. "I am very over Gretchen calling and texting me. Sorry."
"I forgive you. What does she want now?"
"I'm sure it's something else about Parker. Earlier she was upset because he wanted to listen to the same song on repeat when she was sick of it. It took a lot of effort not to snap at her. He's three, that's the kind of thing kids do, either let him listen to it or enforce a limit. Don't call me at work because he's throwing a temper tantrum. I don't call her when he's melting down."
"Do you want to listen to some music?"
"Yes, and no. It generally makes for a better experience, but this whole conversation is reminding me of how ridiculous she can be. She has a three year old who wants to listen to Paganini and she's complaining about it. I could listen to that on repeat for hours and not get upset. Am I being unreasonable?"
"Are you ever going to be able to play the violin again?"
"I don't know. Maybe if I learned how to use my left hand, but then I would need a left handed violin and I really do not want to spend that kind of money and have to take lessons again."
"If you had the violin, could you teach yourself?"
"I wouldn't so I guess whether I could or not is immaterial."
"You could give it to Parker when he's older."
"It's still a sore subject. My parents bought me a violin that I didn't want and then forced me to use my non-dominant hand to try and play. At Parker's age musical instruments are still fun. I wouldn't want to pressure him into anything. I don't enjoy playing. It probably could have been fun, but it's not now. Sorry this conversation got very depressing. Thank you for this evening together. I love coming home to you. Getting off of work and coming home to you is the best feeling ever."
"I got frustrated with the kids. I thought we could use a chance to reconnect."
"Thank you. This is why I love you. One of the reasons at least. You take action when it's needed. I appreciate that more than you'll ever know."
"In bed. From now on we have to have fortune cookie conversations. I'll let it slide this time because this is a new game, but next time you're going to be penalized, in bed."
"Two games in one night? You're on a roll, in bed."
"That's not literally true, in bed."
"We could make it literally true, in bed."
"Does that appeal to you, in bed?"
"What kind of penalties will I have to deal with if I forget to say 'in bed'?
"Are you deliberately trying to provoke me, in bed?"
"What if I am? What are you going to do to punish me, in bed?"
"I have to think about this. Being deliberately insubordinate should carry a harsher penalty than simply forgetting. You married a lazy lover, maybe a good punishment for you would be making you do all the work while I just lay here, in bed."
"What sort of metric are you going to use to determine if I'm deliberately being insubordinate? Who decides if I've forgotten, or if I'm provoking and taunting you, in bed?"
"Your tone of voice is very telling. I will decide, in bed."
"What if I don't care for your tone of voice, in bed?"
"You can sleep in the guest room. You can have a nice time in there by yourself, in bed."
"This is my bed. You're here because I'm willing to share it. I think if anyone is relinquished to the guest bedroom, it should be you my dear."
"You forgot to say 'in bed'."
"No, I didn't."
"You are being very disrespectful, in bed."
"I have no idea how you turned a stupid fortune cookie comment into a conversation like this. I apologize for being a brat. I accept my punishment. I'll gladly do all of the work, you can just lie back and, on second thought, I didn't agree to play this game. Maybe you're the person who needs to be punished Miss Lana."
"You forgot again Bradley. You said you like games when you first entered our room. I felt like we had an agreement, in bed."
"Damn, you're good, in bed. But I think I'm raising a legitimate point. I agreed to play the first game. You sprung the second one on me without warning."
"You said you liked games, plural, in bed. Those were your exact words. You said you liked games. Am I wrong, or am I quoting you accurately, in bed? And you forgot again."
"Ha, you just forgot. Now it's my turn to think of a penalty for you. Seriously, all games aside, I would really like to taste and touch you, in bed. Am I going to be allowed to pick up where we left off previously, in bed?"
"I didn't forget. You said you weren't playing and then you tried calling me on not saying it, in bed. You claim to love me, yet here I am, cold and naked, in bed, in your bed no less."
"That's terrible. I'm truly sorry. Is there anything I can do to try and make it up to you, in bed?"
"I don't know. I planned this very special evening for you, my feelings are hurt."
"I'm sorry I hurt your feelings. I love you and I'm sorry if me teasing you went too far. I think the fortune cookie game is a ton of fun, I was just messing with you, and I want to sincerely apologize if your feelings are hurt. I would say in bed at the end of the sentence, but I think that could be interpreted wrongly so I won't."
"I was just kidding anyways. My feelings weren't really hurt."
"Well then. That changes everything, in bed. Or aren't we playing the fortune cookie game anymore?"
"I think I took it too far. I kept talking when I wanted your hands on me and your cock inside of me."
"You either forgot to say 'in bed', or you're contemplating a change of venue. I do like your ideas though. That conversation was very, stimulating."
"And this one isn't? What did I do to turn you off, in bed?"
"I honestly can't imagine not wanting you." His hand drifted over her hair, stopped at her shoulder, and continued to make its way down. "It would not take very long for me to finish what you started. Or maybe I should say it another way. This kind of talk is going to finish me off and I'm apologizing in advance if this goes more quickly than you had anticipated."
"Are we going to be very polite and considerate of the other person, or should we just go at it like the animals that we are, in bed?"
"A shiver just ran down my spine. I'm hard if you're wet."
"I'm ready if you are, in bed. Please Brad, I'm begging. I have no pride left. You win."
"I think I'm the one who has to beg you to let me love you the way that you like best. Tell me what to do, tell me what you want, what do you need, in bed?"
"Please, stop teasing me like this, I can't take it anymore. Touch me now."
"Where would you like to be touched? I would really like to go down on you, ever since I walked in here, I don't know why this was on my mind, but I walked in and remembered that time that you let me watch you touching yourself. I would give a lot to get a repeat of that on video. Please Lana, whatever you want, whatever it is that you need, please, take it from me."
"You have to play the music. You like the music when we're together. Please Brad, I love you, I want to please you, tell me what you want and I'll do my best to love you harder."
"I want you to feel so incredibly good you start crying those tears of release. Come on baby, climb on top unless you want me to go down on you and believe me, I will."
"I almost yelled at Parker. I'm sorry."
"It happens. You don't owe anyone any apologies. Parenting is stressful and you're not his real mother which is a pity. I do appreciate everything you do for me and him. Tell me what's bothering you. Your pain hurts me too you know."
"I feel like I'm a shitty step-parent."
"You're not. You're amazing. I can't believe I was dumb enough to think that Gretchen would be a good parent just because she likes babies. I'm sorry for that. I love you and Grace so much it hurts at times. As much as I'm enjoying having you to myself, there's a part of me that wishes she was here with us."
"We can go get her."
"I'll live. I waited so long for a daughter. Thank you for giving me her. Come on beautiful, you deserve at least one orgasm tonight. Tell me what you want and I'll see what I can do."
"Fuck me hard."
"In, or out, of bed?"
"Both. I need you."
"I need you too. I needed this more than I realized." His fingers started stroking her, lightly at first. "Come on Lana, let go, relax, breathe. You can do it."
"I feel so selfish and guilty."
"Your feelings are valid, but there's no reason for you to feel either of those things. We have a night together, let's not waste it, let's go back in time and remember, do you remember the first time we had sex after we were married? I could not cross that hotel lobby fast enough."
"I still remember our very first time when you said all those super romantic things to me. You should get drunk again."
"I'll never live that down. I can't believe I was so drunk I questioned whether that encounter was real. Come on Lana, stop thinking and start feeling. Sex is supposed to be fun, my brain stopped working as soon as I saw that text of yours, come on, let all those nerve endings come alive tonight. Let your pretty pink parts swell and drip, yes, there you go, ride the wave, let go, let the day go, relax, unwind, scream harder, I know you can generate more volume than that."
"Please go inside. Please. I'm so ready for you. Please. Help me."
"You don't need me, but I'm happy to oblige. You work hard, play hard, I wish I could see how pouty and puffy your lips and nipples are now. But since I can't, I'll have to content myself with tasting them. Oh God Lana, please, you are incredible. I love you."
"I can't stop, please. Give me another orgasm, but you can't have one inside of me tonight, sorry."
"I understand. There's no need to apologize. Take what you need, don't worry about me. Please. I'm just enjoying you. Tonight is my night to focus on you and your pleasure. Whatever you like makes me happy. Truly, except, okay, go easy on me or I will have an orgasm. Okay, I might anyways, come on Lana, this is crazy. Slow down girl. I mean that, Lana please, I will have an orgasm if you keep that up, I'm not kidding."
"I don't care. Make me pregnant again, I never want this night to end."
"It's too soon. We can't."
"We can. Please Brad. Please, I'm begging you. I'm not asking for much, just something we both want. Please. I love you."
"I love you too which is why I have to say no. Two babies in one year is too much. Your body needs time to recover. We went through some tough times, you are so unbelievable, I'm not going to go over the edge with you, but believe me when I say that I could."
"Love me harder."
"This night is for you. Stop talking, focus. You are so damn good in bed. Your clit has to be good and swollen by now. What's taking so long? What can I do to help you?"
She shook her head, trembled against him, cried out, and collapsed on top of him. "No more, please, no more. I'm done."
"Shh, it's okay. Just lay there for a minute. You worked hard. Relax." He stroked her hair, found her hand, and kissed it. "I love you so much. I never thought my life could be this good and it's only because of you that I'm where I'm at today. You really are the best wife ever."
"I'm a raging bitch with a sex addiction."
"You're an incredible woman with healthy hormones. You very nearly did get what you wanted. I had to really fight that urge."
"But you didn't get an orgasm."
"Your pleasure is mine and I mean that. Thank you for an exquisite evening."
"You can still have an orgasm."
"Not tonight. Tonight was for you. My turn will come another time. Like tomorrow morning if that works for you. Going to bed with that as an incentive to wake up is pretty much guaranteed to produce some nice dreams tonight. Are you sleepy? We don't have to talk if you're tired."
Lana snuggled into his side, yawned, and rubbed her nose into his side. "I love you."
In the darkness he smiled as he pulled the covers around her. "I love you too, in and out of my bed."
I walked into a mess at work. After break my friend and another guy were walking ahead of me, I went down the hall and screamed when he reached out to grab me from around the corner. I felt super stupid after that, I was pretty loud because he legitimately scared me. People were making fun of me, the Santa Creeper guy made a comment that I really didn't care for, a bunch of the guys in produce were laughing, but they were laughing with me, not at me. I was in back when a guy came up to me and asked if a woman in my department was working. He had a glass container with a blue Pyrex lid, apparently she made something for him. I told him I'd put the container in her box for her, this is just my two cents, but you might as well be blowing the guy if you're making him meals like that. This is not okay and I'm going to say something about it, I just haven't decided what, or when. My boss came in today, she's still not feeling the greatest, I told her to call if she didn't think she could make it through the day. She told me she'd be fine, she works so hard and gets no respect from upper management. It's really disheartening.
I work with some really cool people. Sometimes the cool people leave and I understand that they have to do what makes their lives more meaningful, but I still think about them from time to time. Today I read an article about physician suicide. Out of the blue a guy I used to go out with sent me a message asking how I was. He genuinely cares, but I know he reached out because he needs some support. I won't get into what's going on, partially because I only have a couple of sentences, but that's enough for me to realize it's a very sensitive topic. He's always been very open and honest about those types of issues in his personal life. He came home one day, he travels extensively for business related reasons, and thought someone had robbed him when it was actually his wife who cleaned house before she left with her lover. The neighbors had known what was going on, but nobody bothered to tell him. He sold his house and moved within a week. He's one of the people others turn to in moments of crisis. High profile people call him up crying, or tell him about shit that's going down in their lives. He listens, he helps them cope, and I wonder who is there for him, but I know, nobody is the way that he needs them to be.
I was going to go home after work, but my friend was shopping so I walked around the store with her. I spent a lot more money than I wanted, and bought some things I regret. But I also got to talk to some people I work with and learned some new things about them. She has a way with people and it's kind of cool to be included like that. I sat on the bench drinking a smoothie and I thought, I'm exhausted from 4.25 hours of work. What is wrong with me? I was going to go to the art studio, then I worried about how much money I was spending. I drove to the library, and as soon as I sat down I knew I had made a mistake. I was peopled out, but I was there so I sat and forced myself to write a poem. I drove him, thought about how it didn't say what I wanted it to, and pulled it down. I rewrote it and I'm much happier with the new version. Today I told the cafe manager that I was grateful that her employees were so conscientious, I told a couple of the people themselves, but not everyone. People need praise and we get precious little of it at work. I think I underestimate what I bring to the table. I'm smart, efficient, I can be kind and gracious, I try to show up ready to work hard and I probably need to just start appreciating myself more at work.
I really enjoy writing fiction, I decided to go back and work on the piece that I had started, and now I'm really glad I did because it did what it was supposed to do which is let me escape into a world where I'm control and I can play with different personalities without any real world complications. I write all the time and never do anything with any of it. Today I decided to stop caring and just post it. I may turn this into a larger story arc, it may be an isolated piece. I can't even say why I stopped posting fiction when I used to do it fairly routinely. If I had to guess, I'd say that in some ways I can't quite explain it's more personal to me than anything else I write which probably sounds strange since I'm pretty willing to go there and be very honest about the unsexy parts of my life. I do take some liberties with some conversations, sometimes I'll expand on a conversation and write about how I think it could have gone. I don't really worry about it, I just write and for the most part I think that whatever gets written is what was supposed to appear. I try hard to report faithfully and accurately, but I never promised anyone photographic recall and I'm okay with that. I probably should have bought real groceries today instead of snacks, but whatever.
Tomorrow is another day and I'm very thankful that today went as well as it did considering how I felt yesterday.
P.S. That news from Hawaii is really something. Every day I wake up wondering what sort of crazy political news is going to break. The other day a friend of mine said she felt like she was on a roller coaster ride, but instead of getting off like everyone else she was ejected from her seat without warning. I thought that was a great comparison for how I've felt since the last election.