tagErotic CouplingsA Heart Divided Ch. 01

A Heart Divided Ch. 01

bynageren©

This is the next installment in the Strange Arrangement world and will be seven chapters. You don't need to read the other stories for this one to make sense, but knowing Gina's story as recounted in A Strange Arrangement will certainly affect your reading of this story, hopefully for the better, though it would also be a spoiler for how this relationship ends. This story begins about 2 years before Gina meets Andrew.

Chapter 1

It was looking at her eyes that let me know it was too late. I was on top of her, waiting for her to show signs of approaching her climax as I thrust slowly and firmly into her. I was enjoying the feel of her skin against mine, after having gone so long without. It had been what...two...three months since the last time we had had sex?

The marriage counselor had given us a "homework assignment" that day. Saying that all marital problems express themselves in the bedroom, she had told us to have sex every day until our next counseling session- which was a whole week away. We also had some other assignments- conversations and discussions and arguments that we had been avoiding for months. But I had to clench my jaw to keep from smiling when she told us to have sex every day that week.

Lynn was less than thrilled, but we had paid for 6 very expensive sessions up front, and the counselor said she would not see us again if we hadn't done all our homework. So there we were, a few hours later, naked in our marriage bed for the first time in what seemed like ages. My back was beginning to sweat and I started to wish that I had turned on the ceiling fan before we started. Her large breasts were just starting to glisten as they shook with each thrust.

Lynn had said "no" to foreplay. She had clinically stripped herself bare, dug out the bottle of lube that was buried in our bathroom cabinet, and liberally applied it to her entrance. She winced when I entered her and then kept her eyes closed. I had hoped that after a while she would get into it again, and I was thinking back to some of our more exciting times in the bedroom, even as recently as a year ago. I still don't know exactly what had happened to bring us to this point.

But after 20 minutes of slow, steady grinding, and after offering several times to change positions or do something different, I finally understood. I looked in her eyes when she opened them and they were totally vacant. She wasn't thinking about me or anyone else, she wasn't there at all. She was staring at the ceiling, her only sounds coming from the air forced out of her lungs by my thrusts.

It was too late. We could do this every night for a year and it wouldn't change anything. She didn't love me. She didn't even like me. I don't think she even wanted to be in the same room as me, and I didn't know why. Six years of marriage and now this.

"Gary, can you hurry up? I'm starting to feel a little raw." No bitterness, no emotion in her voice at all.

I put both hands on that ass that I loved to hold, and I pulled her towards me, speeding up. Closing my eyes, I tried to think of fantasies from my past- girls I had known, girls I had wished to know, girls that didn't even exist. But one thing they all shared in my fantasies- they wanted to be with me. They enjoyed what we were doing- they wanted it.

As I pictured a beautiful face tense with sexual pleasure, I finally came, pushing a few solid thrusts into my wife. I heard her sharp intake of breath as I pushed deep, but she was otherwise unresponsive. She let me stay on top of her and inside her for a minute or two while I caught my breath, then she tapped my arm to indicate that I needed to roll off of her.

She hopped out of bed and went into the bathroom, locking the door behind her. Silence and locked doors- I should be used to that by now.

*******

It wasn't always this way, you know. We got married after three years of dating and engagement. We met when Lynn was an Event Coordinator who was running a charity art auction on behalf of a battered women's shelter called "Hope's Advocate." I was invited to give a brief lecture on "The History of the Objectivization of Women in Western Art." It was her idea to change my title to "Objects of Lust, Objects of Art," which later became the title of my first book.

We fit together; we fit together very well. I was the introverted, intellectual, quiet, sometimes awkward PhD candidate, and she was the entrepreneurial, social, intuitive, laughing beauty. She knew people, I knew ideas, and when we were together, our conversation flowed. We complemented each other well, we enjoyed being together. She drew me out into the world, I anchored her into the moment.

It wasn't a lust-filled whirlwind romance. It was a friendship that blossomed into a comfortable romance. Our first time making love was simple- no fireworks or screaming orgasms, but rather the same feel of a couple who has been together a long time and who just feel right being together.

I was intimidated by her beauty. As the book-ish type, I was never very comfortable around women, especially pretty ones. Lynn glowed with an unassuming beauty. I had been so taken by her personality that I was surprised, weeks later, when I realized just how beautiful she was. She wore very little make-up, she seldom changed her hair style, she didn't obsess over fashion- she just looked simple and...desirable. Her curves were usually well hidden under professional outfits. I loved those curves, and I always appreciated how she didn't flaunt them. It made her sexy body feel like our little secret- a special present just for me.

When I met her, she was 26 years old, and she ran her own business. She would schedule appointments at large companies that didn't even know who she was. She would walk into their offices and cast a compelling vision for an event they had never imagined. A surprising number of those events ended up happening. It wasn't the force of her personality convinced them; it was the beauty of the pictures she painted with her words. That, and the weeks of research she did on each company.

She later told me that she had found me "cute" and "refreshing," which was why she asked to meet me after the art auction. That meeting turned into regular coffees until I stumbled through an attempt to transition our friendship into something more formal. By then, she said, she already knew she wanted to marry me. Having finally gotten my PhD and landed a position at a nearby university, I was ready to turn some of my attentions away from academic and career pursuits and on to our future together. I proposed to her while we walked in the park after the book release party she had thrown for me.

Our wedding was surprisingly simple, considering the bride made a living planning big events. We both wanted a simple, intimate, low-stress wedding. Our families came, and a few close friends. A month later, we had a bigger social event, inviting our work and business associates. Lynn shined at those kind of events- not as the center of attention, usually. She was poised and graceful and fun and always knew the right thing to say or do. I mostly tried to not embarrass myself. I still didn't understand why people wanted to listen to me talk. Art was fascinating to me, but I assumed almost everyone else found it boring. And I didn't know how to talk about much else.

I once asked Lynn if she was embarrassed to be with me in public- I offered to not go to events with her. She was surprised by the question, then gave me that look that told me she was seeing right through my soul. "Gary," (she was the only one to call me that), "you don't know how handsome and intelligent you are, do you." It was a statement, not a question. "If I were a psychologist, I'd say you spent so many years avoiding women that you were never told that you are attractive and fun to talk to and sexy. And since you never heard it, you never believed it."

She was probably right. My tendency to avoid women (though not entirely- I did manage to lose my virginity in college) ended up a self-fulfilling prophesy. Women didn't want me, so I didn't pursue them. I didn't pursue them, so I believed they didn't want me. I tended to stick to the areas where I felt confident- my studies. After that conversation, Lynn took it upon herself to regularly tell me how handsome I was. My dark brown eyes, my lean build, my hair- if I hadn't been so self-conscious to begin with, I could have developed quite an ego. And yet Lynn's affirmation didn't make me any more confident around other women- it just made me more in love with her.

Sex was never a problem- neither of us was very adventurous or kinky. Sex was a great way for us to express our love, and we did it as often as our schedules allowed. I worked weekdays, she often had events on the weekends, but most nights and especially summers were our time. I always craved stability and stasis, I didn't need adventure. Lynn's job kept her so busy that she, too, longed for our married life to be a refuge. And so it continued- two people entering their thirties, stable careers, no kids yet, and enjoying life together.

*******

The day after our counseling appointment, we both had off work. Me because it was summer and I had no classes to teach- only papers to write and get published. Lynn was off because she had just finished a string of big events and had long ago planned a few weeks of down time afterwards. I was eating breakfast when Lynn came in the kitchen and started looking through the fridge for her own meal. I felt an odd mixture of calm and anxious. Calm because of the long-overdue sexual release I had experienced the night before. Anxious because I knew we had a lot to talk about, and after last night I didn't expect it to end well.

Lynn didn't say a word as she put some food on a plate and sat down. After I had washed down a few bites with a glass of juice, I said a polite "Good morning." She replied with a simple, "Morning" and a distant look over my shoulder. After a few more minutes of silence, I said, "Maybe we should talk about some of the things we're supposed to discuss this week..."

"Yeah, I guess," came her unenthusiastic reply.

The counselor had given us a few stapled pages of topics and questions that we needed to go over. "Some of these," she had said, "won't be an issue for you two. And some of them will lead to big arguments. That's fine, that's intentional. We need to see where the pressure points are for your marriage so we can get busy addressing them and teaching you how to argue constructively."

Lynn had given an uncharacteristically harsh reply, "I don't see what having sex every day has to do with any of that."

"Sex is important- to both of you, though not always for the same reasons. It's the one main thing that makes discussing money or time or communication with your spouse different from discussing it with a friend or business associate. You need to remember that this isn't an informal connection that you have, and it's not something entirely objective. Your whole selves- body, heart, everything- are invested in this relationship. Sex communicates that, it reminds you of that. Lynn, you can't talk to Gareth like he's just another person if your naked bodies are regularly being pressed together. Sorry to be graphic, but that's the point."

"Well, I don't think it's a good point." Then looking sideways at me she had added, "but maybe it'll put him in a nicer mood, at least."

I had wrinkled my brow and opened my mouth to respond. The counselor lifted her finger towards me and said, "No, Gareth. We're not defending ourselves. We're listening. And that's the point of these discussions you need to have this week. No matter what the other person says about you, you don't defend yourself. You listen. You listen, and you listen again. You take turns listening, and if you need to, write down what they say you are doing that hurts them. You don't defend yourself. Listen."

With those words still fresh in my mind, I went and got the papers- a copy for each of us. I had honestly hoped that we could get past this- that whatever we were going through was just a rough patch, a bump on an otherwise long and happy road. That's why I had suggested a counselor- I wanted us work out whatever was bothering Lynn, because she wasn't talking to me about it. I was glad I had let her find and choose the counselor, that way she couldn't blame me for the sex assignment!

We started working through the questions, and it was just as the counselor had said- some of the topics were no problem. Money was fine- we were in decent shape and were both responsible with our spending. We had made some good choices and had similar values, so no problem there. Time management was also OK- we had a rhythm to our life, and neither of us felt like work or hobbies were cutting into our availability to one another...and so on for an hour.

The next topic was sex, which made me nervous. I braced myself for some sort of criticism. I didn't satisfy her, she wasn't attracted to me anymore, she was interested in someone else...I just didn't know what to expect, and I felt particularly vulnerable. I glanced ahead at other topics- kids, in-laws, communication, something called 'love languages,' plans for the future...I was tempted to skip ahead, but Lynn could see the questions as well as I could and she went straight into the sex questions.

To my surprise, she said she had no complaints. "I've always been very happy with our sex life," she said, a bit sadly. I looked at her in skeptical silence. She saw my look and made eye contact for the first time that morning. "Really, Gare. Everything has been fine in bed. I'm not cheating on you or anything, I don't fantasize about anyone else. Sex is great, it always has been."

"You could have fooled me last night. And every day for the past 6 months." Though we had had sex a couple times in the past half year, it was always quick, one-sided, and often when Lynn was drunk. It wasn't a kind remark, and I regretted it. She turned away and put her hand to her lips. I could tell she was about to cry- I had seen that face many times before.

"I'm sorry," she said in a strained whisper. "I'm sorry Gare, I just don't know what's wrong." Sure enough, she began to cry, her shoulders shaking as she tried to contain herself. She sniffed and got up from the table to grab a napkin. Wiping her eyes, she took a few deep breaths and continued looking away. "Do you want to do it now?"

"Do what?"

"Sex, dummy. We're supposed to have sex today. Do you want to do it now or later?"

"I...I don't want to make you...do something when you're upset like this."

She stared up at the ceiling for a few seconds, then said softly, "I want to, Gareth, I want to have sex with you now. Please." It seemed hard for her to say that, like she was ashamed.

Standing up, I said, "I always want to be with you, babe. Anytime."

We walked upstairs, taking off our clothes as we got into the bedroom.

We kissed. It felt to me like our first kiss- exciting, strange, promising. I wondered if maybe we had somehow broken through the wall and were already making our way back to normal. Standing naked next to the bed, holding Lynn against me, I dared to believe we would be happy again.

She inched backwards until her legs bumped the bed, then she sat down. Putting her hands on my ass, she pulled me towards her, taking my hard cock into her mouth. I was vocal in my appreciation, groaning and moaning over my first time feeling her lips there in almost a year. She moved slowly, not trying to finish me that way but rather getting me more primed for what was to come. I rested one hand on the top of her head and looked down at the way her brown hair fell around her face, hiding her motions. When I felt myself getting too close, I used both hands to pull her off of me, then crawled onto the bed next to her.

She got on her back as I put my mouth on her large breasts. I had always loved kissing her body. My lips lingered on her nipples, stiff from arousal, or maybe the chill of the air-conditioner. My hand moved slowly around her belly. Lynn had always worked out and stayed in shape, but during the past six years her stomach had lost some of its firmness. I found it just as sexy, maybe even more so with a slight bit of cushion. I thought about how beautiful it would be when it grew large with our child some day...maybe some day soon.

I moved my kisses onto her stomach, and then down to her mound. Lynn put her hands on my head and pushed me lower down, eager to feel my tongue on her folds. I started very slowly, one lick, then a pause. Another lick. A small kiss on her clit. A slower, firmer lick, then a teasing poke at her entrance with my tongue. Her breathing sped up, more in frustration than arousal. "Do it," she whispered. "Please, Gary, do it!"

I pulled my head back and said teasingly, "Do what, babe?"

She was beginning to squirm and her voice was urgent. "Lick me, lick my pussy. Please. I miss it."

Smiling, I set about my joyous task. Alternating slow, firm licks with softer, shorter ones, I had to wrap my arms around her thighs and put my hands on her mound to stay in place. Lynn pushed against me and wiggled around. I knew what she wanted- she wanted me on her clit, which was already showing her arousal. But I delayed as long as I dared, letting her anticipation and frustration drive her to desperation.

She began moaning and pulling my hair a bit, trying to move my face up a few inches. Just...a few...inches. I let one of my licks go higher, almost...touching...but then back down. She whimpered and said in a whiny moan, "Gar-y! Please, do it!"

Figuring she had had enough, I let my next lick take me all the way up to her clit. Reaching it, I wrapped my lips around the slight protrusion. I held it between my lips and tapped at it with my tongue, then began licking circles around it, making sure not to touch it again. When she began whimpering again, I pressed my tongue flat and firm against her button. I started to slowly move my whole head up and down, letting my tongue stay firm. I wanted to grab my cock and stroke it, but I was afraid I might cum just from that gentle stimulation.

Thankfully, Lynn started showing all the signs of an approaching orgasm, so I started doing a lick, then a kiss. A lick, then a kiss. She started pushing against my face and squeezing her thighs around my head. "mmmmMMMMAHHHHH!" She convulsed forward, her head and upper back launching up off the bed as her thighs gripped me. A few more convulsions like that and she lay flat, starting to relax. I resumed licking her slit, slowly and gently with looonnng swipes up and down. Lynn's hands left my head and started rubbing up and down her sides.

"I'll be right back," I said, and ran to the bathroom. I knew she would want a minute or two before doing anything else, and I also knew she would want me to wash and rinse my mouth. Lynn was not into tasting herself, and even though that meant breaking the flow of our lovemaking after I ate her out, I had gotten used to it. I took a washcloth to wipe my face and then gargled with some mouthwash. It wasn't a thorough job, but it was probably good enough.

Returning to the bed, I found Lynn just as I had left her- on her back, eyes closed, hands on her belly. I lay down next to her and pulled the cool sheet on top of us. Nuzzling my nose just below her ear, I gave a a few light kisses to her neck and asked, "What position would you like?" In answer, she rolled towards me, pushing me onto my back, and then straddled my waist. Bending down until our faces were touching, she put her lips to mine and gave a small kiss.

Shifting her hips, she worked her way down me until she had lined me up with her hole. I forced myself to keep my eyes open and to watch her face as she pushed down on me with one long stroke. Her hair was tussled all over her face. Her eyes were closed and her mouth was open. She flinched and exhaled as she took me in. She looked so...incredibly...sexy.

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