His parents had only visited once. Tom much preferred to fly back and visit them in his childhood home in upstate New York. He felt uncomfortable having his mother there unannounced. She'd never been to his home. The last time she was in town he was living in a small duplex. He'd of course told his parents when he moved, but he never specified that he'd bought a house and naturally they assumed that at thirty years old he was still renting. It was no surprise that her teary eyes were as wide as saucers while he guided her from the expansive foyer, through the kitchen and deposited her on a plush, and rather comfortable, sofa.
Tom pushed the matching ottoman over slightly and lifted her feet removing her shoes. He snatched the universal remote from the coffee table, and with a frenzied tap, the blinds on the far wall raised up slowly provided a floor to ceiling view of a lushly landscaped backyard as the warm morning light filled the room. Another tap and the soulful voice of Nina Simone poured softly out of the in-wall speakers. He knew she loved Nina. When he was a kid, this is what she listened to when she was feeling down. His mother stared at him operating with his natural ease, and she began to calm herself.
"Wait here. I'll be right back. We'll chat, have a drink, and then I'll show you the house. I'm sure we each have plenty of questions." He said putting a reassuring touch on her arm.
Tom returned a few minutes later with a bottle of champagne on ice, a carafe of fresh squeezed orange juice and a pair of champagne flutes placed on a serving tray.
"Mimosas!" He smiled. "It sounds like we have a lot to talk about and I, for one, am going to need a drink. How about it?"
"Thomas , it's 8am in the morning, and you're going to start drinking?" Her tone was not of disapproval. Rather it seemed to be a reflexive comment appropriate for a mother to say to her son.
"So you want to tell me what a shmuck my father is without a drink then?" He asked pointedly.
She wrapped her head around the last two weeks that led her to her son's home. With a deep sigh she simply stated, "Make mine with just a splash of orange. And then why don't you start by telling me how you can afford to rent a place like this. It's absolutely gorgeous! I was sure the cab driver was mistaken when he pulled up out front."
Tom poured out two glasses and passed one along to his mother. "I guess I'm due in for a long explanation. I'm sorry. I was going to fly you and dad out for Christmas since it had been so long. The place isn't a rental. I bought it a couple years back. Writing is going better than expected."
"It's yours!" She interjected. "But how? I thought you were barely getting along with your writing. Your father and I always thought you should have chosen a different profession. We... I... had no idea."
"Well," he began, "my agent has done quite right by me the last few years, and I definitely fell into a bit of success writing some novels. I never wanted to brag to you and pop. I've always said I'm doing fine." Tom stopped and took a sip of his mimosa.
Before he could finish the soft voice of Alexis came from the kitchen. "Sir, are you here?" She said as she walked inside through the French doors in the kitchen and placed his errant coffee mug in the sink. "Sir? I've started your computer, placed the partial manuscript on the desk next to the printer with a new red pen. I know you said that other one was running low. I switched out your music selection for the morning. And I need to discuss a last minute appointment for this afternoon..." She stammered on quite professionally. It was Wednesday and she loved Wednesdays.
In the flurry of the past thirty minutes, Tom hadn't even considered that Alexis would be looking for him. She kept him on a tight schedule when he needed to get work done. Tom liked that about her.
"You have an assistant?" His mom mouthed not wanting the other woman to hear her.
"I...uh..." and that was all he got out as it suddenly occurred to him the awkwardness that was about to take place. It was too late to stop it. He cringed inside. "Not an assistant exactly, mom. Be nice."
Alexis bounded around the corner and another realization struck him. It was Wednesday. Alexis loved Wednesdays because that was the day she was required to wear lingerie only. Today she had chosen a black corset that held her slim waist tight. The thin straps on the bottom of the corset were tautly holding her thigh high stockings in place. The straps themselves framed the black lace panties which seemed to follow every curve of her perfectly rounded ass. Her large, firm breasts hung down over the top of the corset. She had chosen the black Jimmy Choo stilettos he had bought her for her birthday. Her hair was down today flowing out in a long golden mane. He knew she had chosen it to inspire him. Although she looked amazing, Tom could not have been more embarrassed in front of his mother.
"Oh, there you are, Sir! I was looking for you." She stammered as she entered the room. She stopped suddenly and followed his eyes over toward the sofa. "Oh, Sir, I apologize I didn't realize you had a guest! How thoughtless of me!" She leaned over the couch and extended her hand to the older woman, "My name is Alexis. How do you do?" The tilt of her torso as she reached out for her greeting had caused her breasts sway rather obscenely forward hanging down just in front his mother's face. Tom cringed again. Normally he wouldn't invite women into the house unless they knew the situation, and so it didn't occur to Alexis to be timid about her appearance.
"Alexis. This is my mother..." Tom began before his mom had interjected.
"Marie Bolden. Please call me, Marie." She tried not to focus on the perfect tanned orbs in front of her. She was confused at how comfortable this woman seemed with her nakedness, and in turn didn't know how to act.
"Oh what an honor, Marie! Oh geez!" She snorted out. She often snorted when she got nervous. Tom found it endearing. She wrapped her hands around her voluminous chest, "I'm awfully sorry these have a mind of their own. How inappropriate to be waving them in your face! That's a bit embarrassing."
"And you are?" Marie Bolden asked with a curious look at the odd situation unfolding. She wondered if she should pretend like this wasn't as uncomfortable as it felt.
Alexis knew who she was. She was Sir's Alexis. His submissive. She'd never had to explain it to someone though, and wasn't sure what to say. She looked confounded for a moment and nervous that she might answer in a way he'd find disapproving.
"Mom, don't go jumping to conclusions!" Tom chided allowing Alexis a respite. "Alexis is my absolute everything. If it weren't for her everything around here would fall to pieces." Alexis beamed inside at this answer. It was such an honor to be spoken of so highly. "Alexis, could you possibly put on something a bit more appropriate. And she could use some tissues and maybe something to eat."
"Yes, Sir." She said disappearing around the corner.
Marie looked at her son with arched eyebrows. "What on earth was that about?" She asked. "Is this how you're living out here? No wonder you don't visit anymore. And how long may I ask have you been seeing this woman? Is it serious? And why on earth does she call 'Sir'? Is she a girlfriend or employee? Please tell me you're not sleeping with an employee."
"Mom, stop it! I'm not getting into this and stop probing my life. I'm sorry you two had to meet that way. I'd just like to pretend like that didn't just happen."
"Well she likes you. A mother knows these things. I can see how she looked at my baby boy. And that outfit! Come on, no one actually looks like that in lingerie. She's stunning. Maybe just a touch too comfortable around others though."
Tom sighed heavily. "Mom, if you don't stop then I'll check you into a hotel." It wasn't harsh the way it came out, and she knew enough to move on without taking offense despite whether she thought there was something odd and inappropriate about the attractive blonde prancing around her son's home half nude.
Tom changed the subject, and focused his attention on the elephant in the room. "So," Tom continued. "What happened? Tell me everything."
Marie drained her glass in one gulp, refilling it with a shaky hand. "I... well... I... oh geez... I dread recounting this. Well... um... here goes... I guess I knew something was wrong." She began in earnest. Her eyes welled back up as she began to recount the events. "He'd been acting strange for the last month or two. He'd thrown out his back pretty badly in December when he slipped on some ice shoveling the walkway. I... I made him see a doctor. You know how he is about doctors. Always the hero. But I made him, and they sent him to physical therapy. It was impossible to get him to go, and then he was insistent about not missing any appointments."
Alexis arrived back in the room with a fruit salad and a box of tissues. Her previous attire had been swapped out for a lovely, lime green, tight v-neck tee shirt and pair of form fitting jeans. She had opted not to put on a bra, and Tom stared at the peaks of her nipples poking through the fabric. He loved this woman more than he ever let on. Alexis placed the tissues next to Marie, and glanced at Tom looking for some type of instruction. Normally she would kneel at his feet, but suddenly she didn't know how to behave. He eyed the couch next to his mother and she took a seat quietly.
"Thank you, dear." She said dabbing her eyes with a tissue. She capped her glass with the last of the champagne. The alcohol had loosened her nerves. Marie had never been much a drinker, and few glasses had her just a bit tipsy.
"So," She continued, "we hadn't had... um... slept together in... I can't even remember how long. I began to get suspicious. So I showed up at one of his appointments to meet his physical therapist. I assumed the worst of course. To my surprise and relief the therapist was a man. I felt so stupid for overreacting. So I sat and waited for your father to finish up and thanked the therapist. On the way out, I joked saying 'when do you think he'll be 100% in the sack?'" She sniffled again. "The therapist said 'Oh, well he was just joking around yesterday saying it's been better than ever. He said the massage therapy has really been helping his sore muscles and keeping him more limber than he's been in years.' I knew immediately something wasn't right, and I didn't even know he'd been getting massage therapy. I certainly hadn't been sleeping with him."
She sobbed lightly. Alexis reached out taking her hand in between hers. Marie glanced at the young woman who had tears in her eyes as well. "It's okay." Alexis whispered having caught on to the gist of the story. "It's not your fault." Tom was amazed at the woman Alexis had become. She had been such a confused woman when he first met her two years ago -- unhappy, lost, empty. She had admitted as much in the first few months of her training. Now, she moved with purpose, empathy, confidence and, most impressively, grace. She had become the perfect accompaniment to Tom's dominant ease.
"Wait?" Tom interjected carefully. "Did you confront him?"
Marie cleared her throat again and prepared to continue. "No. You know him. I had nothing but a candid remark from a stranger that had barely spent any time with him. He'd say he was boasting or bragging, you know? A little fib amongst men. I... I knew there was truth to it, though. I felt it in my bones. So I waited and followed him."
"It was a few days later that I waited outside his office. He'd been working late on Tuesdays. Some big project at work he said. I followed him home, and he turned off into a quiet neighborhood. I parked the car across the street. I saw him go in... and... I... I didn't think I could get out of the car. My legs felt like dead weights. I had to know though. So I took my phone and walked along the side of the house and peered through a window. Sure enough there was an entire therapeutic massage set up in the living room. Except..." She trembled recounting the image, "she was spread eagle on the massage table and he was fucking her."
"You saw it?" Tom asked. "Oh, mom, I'm so sorry."
"Saw it!" She said grabbing the phone from her purse. "I recorded it! I wasn't going to let him deny it. Here see for yourself. I don't want to look. I watched it a thousand times before I confronted him. I kept asking myself what she has outside of youth that made him forget his wife." The contempt was evident as she passed the phone to Tom.
Tom pressed play, and watched the shaky video come to life. Sure enough his father was pounding away at some little tramp while she writhed and screamed beneath him. This was worse than he thought. Surely there was no going back when you saw the vivid account of his indiscretions.
"Oh shit." He said quietly.
"Oh shit is right." She assured him. "So that night, I asked him if everything was alright. He got closed off and defensive. 'I'm busy with work, Marie. I don't need you adding to the pressure.' That's what he said to me. We've been married for 32 years, Tom. Thirty-two! He thinks I can't sniff out his bullshit? We've known each other since we were fifteen years old -- high school fucking sweethearts." She huffed as the anger replaced the sorrow. "So I said to him 'Are you sure that's all? There's not anyone else? Another woman?' And he seethed at me. 'You're so melodramatic. If the attention isn't on you then I must be out fucking other women. I'm so upset with you right now. I bust my ass for you, for our family, and you come at me with accusations?'"
Tom and Alexis were both listening with rapt attention as she continued the account. "So I apologized. He had never snapped at me like that in our entire marriage. I said, 'sorry, John. I just thought... well... I'm sorry... if you promise... then I believe you.' You see I played it coyly. He calmed down. He looked me right in the eye and brushed my hair back with the fingers that had been lodged in that little whore two hours earlier. And he said 'I promise.' So he turned to pour himself a drink. I took out the phone and I said 'Sorry works been hard, honey. Tell me is this the work that's been so tough to deal with.' And I set the phone down on the counter with the video of him playing with the volume turned all the way up. He looked at it, silent. Then he looked back at me. I said, 'don't bother, John. After thirty-two years... really? This is what I get, infidelity and bald faced lies?' He didn't respond. So I asked 'do you love her?' He said yes. The first words he spoke were that he loved her. 'Are you going to stop?' And you know what he says? 'I can't'. Are you kidding me? I had packed a bag already. So I looked at him and said 'I don't want much, John. Half the retirement, half the house, and few things of sentimental value. You can have the rest. I'll be at my sister's and she'll have someone contact you to settle things out.'"
"So, that it's, Tom." She squeaked. "I've been staying with Aunt Jane for the last six days. She's handling the legal matters for me. Your dad started coming by her house to try and talk to me, and she suggested I get out of town. So I bought a ticket yesterday, and landed at 6am this morning."
"I'm so, so sorry, mom." Tom said with the utmost sincerity. "I don't even know what to say. I'm angry. I'm so mad at him. How could he do this to you?"
"Oh, sweetie, don't be angry. I'm angry. I have every right to be, but he's your father even if he proved to be a total fuck up in the end. I was worried about telling you. I'm worried about what I'm going to do. I'm fifty years young. I mean I'm not dead. But... It just seems a bit late to reinvent myself I guess."
Alexis smiled broadly, "Marie, I think we can get you back on the market. You've still got it. We just need to get you back out there and show off all of this!" She gestured to Marie's body. Tom could tell that it made his mom smile to see this attractive woman compliment her.
"I don't think I'm quite there yet. I was thinking a little R&R would do for now, and a long overdue visit with my son."
"How long did you plan on staying?" He asked. "We'd be happy to have you stay as long as needed."
"How does a month sound? Until everything settles out?"
A month did not sound good to Tom at all. He wanted to be accommodating. He would love to have her stay that long if not longer. However, his home had become a complicated place. There is no way he'd be able to manage things with her snooping around and asking questions.
"I think that sounds great, mom." It wasn't a lie. He'd just need to take some time think everything through.
Tom excused himself to use the restroom leaving Alexis and Marie alone together. Marie stuffed her phone back in her purse, and Alexis noticed the paperback novel cover hidden amongst her belongings.
"Doing some reading on the plane?" Alexis asked.
"Oh, yes, I picked this up in the airport. I needed a little something to distract myself. I couldn't put it down. A real page turner. Have you read it?"
Surely that seemed like a silly question to Alexis. Of course she had read it. It was Tom's third book. She had spent hours posing on her hands and knees naked in front of his desk while he wrote. He had whipped her during periods of writers block. He had cum on her face while she remained statuesque because the image of his cum dripping across her full lips seemed to inspire him. This book was an ode to her. It was special. She cherished it. He had signed a hardcover copy before its release just for her. Most importantly though was the very first page which read simply "To A -- my inspiration."
"Of course." She said, "It's excellent, don't you agree?"
"Well, between us girls, this really makes the lady bits tingle. How on earth does a book end up on the New York Times bestseller list when it's basically glorified porn? I mean the story is gripping, but it's so explicit."
It occurred to Alexis in that moment, that Marie had no idea she was reading a novel written by her son. Alexis knew a tremendous amount about Tom, but not so much about his family. Tom seemed to have a reason for everything he did. So she just played along. It wasn't her place to say anything without permission.
"Yes." She chuckled. "Deliciously graphic. Have you read any of his other novels?"
"Not yet, but I've got a feeling I'm going to be reading them soon. My sister turned me on to this writer. She said these books get her through a lot of lonely nights, if you know what I mean. Now let's talk about you two, Alexis. Dish."
Alexis couldn't help but squirm at the absolute naughtiness thinking of a mother being turned on by the twisted musings of her own son. For that matter, Tom's own Aunt had been getting herself off while reading his books. Alexis had a very dark place inside her that moistened with these revelations. Years ago she would have been ashamed of such feelings, but that girl was long gone.
"Dish what?" Alexis replied knowingly.
"You. My son. What's going on with you two? Come on, fill me in on my little boy's life."
Alexis laughed openly. "Marie, these are questions you should ask your son. If you're asking me if I love him, then yes. The answer is yes. Tom is an amazing man. Complicated but amazing."
Marie had never thought of her son as complicated, and she wondered what the blonde knew about him that made her think so. She brushed off the curiosity and kept pressing, "So he's fucking this up? He better take his blinders off and recognize what a beautiful woman he has here." She leaned in and whispered, "Not every woman is willing to dress up like that for her man. I hope he appreciates it."