tagRomanceBest Laid Plans

Best Laid Plans


I had found a list of thirty-six questions that were supposed to help couples fall in love. Admittedly, Dave and I had been together for almost ten years, but I was hoping this weekend would help me feel more connected to him and that we could open up again, even if just a little bit. I felt like we talked about the kids, and he'd tell me about his day, but he never wanted to hear about mine, or tell me what he was thinking or, heaven forbid, feeling about anything. I had to discern that for myself. I figured if I could be more open with him, maybe he could be more open with me and we could get back some of those feelings from when we were first together.

Was it love or just the comfort of the familiar? That's what I was working on figuring out during our trip. I mean, what is love anyway? Is it purely chemical and bound to wear off in twelve to eighteen months so that we're left plodding along in our marriage after ten years? Is there more to it?

So I pulled out the questions as Dave and I drove along. We were only going a couple hours from home and that should be more than enough time.

"It'll be fun," I said, in a wheedling tone and smiled brightly.

"Aw, c'mon Cara." He pretended to reach for the door handle. "Is it too late to bail out of the car?"

"Yes," I scowled with mock severity but truthfully, I was a little surprised, and hurt, at his typical "guy" answer. He eschewed a lot of typical guy behaviors. He didn't watch football or baseball though he did watch fishing. He was also very physically affectionate, if not verbally. He would rub my back with one hand as we watched television or hold my hand as we walked and he was steadfast in giving me a kiss when he got home and saying I love you. But it had become sort of perfunctory.

He would tell me about all the events of his day as I cooked dinner but to talk about ideas or even to ask me questions about what I thought . . . forget it. He was logical and events were much more important than what someone thought or felt about them.

It had just become, day after day, side by side, talking about the kids and what we had to deal with right that minute but almost never the bigger ideas of life and what we really felt. Maybe I stopped listening too, I don't know.

I'd get up and he was gone before me to his job and I'd get the kids to school or daycare then get on to work myself and come home in time to feed everyone and get them into bed before falling into bed myself. He was usually asleep by the time I got there. Once or twice a week we'd have sex and it got to be perfunctory. Then that got to be more and more infrequent.

I admit I often felt alone, like I couldn't trust my husband, with my fears and sadness, like he'd take that as a weakness. Now, that wasn't totally in my head. He'd taught me that when I cried so much after our first child was born. He'd just looked at me with scorn, like . . . if he could just force me to keep a stiff upper lip then everything would be fine. I'd learned to keep my pain to myself and not to trust him with what I was thinking, let alone feeling, and he seemed to like it that way. We muddled through.

He wasn't a bad guy, really. He was very loving, in so many ways. I couldn't imagine him ever raising a hand to little ole me. I'm all of five feet nothing in bare feet (with an awesome blond inverted pixie cut my cousin does for me,) and freckles. I mean, he never even raised his voice to me. He was a great dad too.

I had planned this weekend away at a cabin without the kids, who were nine, seven and five. They were at their grandparents. Of course, I made it somewhere he could fish or I wasn't sure he'd be willing to come along. Hell, I thought maybe I'd go fishing too. At least I could take my sketchbook or camera and get some images down while he fished.

"Oh, c'mon, it's not that bad." I coaxed him. "Look, the first question is simply if you could invite anyone in the world to dinner, who would it be?"


"For me, it would either be someone philosophical or theological, like the Dalai Lama or a writer like Neil Gaiman."

"Okay," he agreed quickly. "You invite Neil Gaiman and I'll invite Jim Butcher."

Like I said, logical.

We worked our way though the questions as we drove over the old main road - green hills and blue sky with puffy white clouds filled the vista.

There were three sets of questions and the first ones were easy. We both agreed that we didn't particularly want to be famous but I wanted to sell my personal photography and artwork. We also both planned what we would say on the phone before making phone calls.

Telling our life story in under four minutes proved pretty much impossible but I got further than he did, not having to divide my attention with driving.

The second set of questions got a little more invasive but I realized we really knew quite a bit about each other because I wasn't surprised at any of his answers and he didn't seem surprised at mine either.

Two thirds of the way to the camp site, we hit a major stumbling block and I knew it as soon as I read the question. (I had deliberately refrained from reading through them ahead of time.) So, I tried to make light of it. "Okay, I know it physically pains you to give me a verbal compliment, but the next question says to take turns stating five positive characteristics of each other."

He laughed but he really had trouble. I started. "I love how thoughtful you are, like the time you brought me down a pair of socks before I ever asked for them."

He tried, he really did. "I like working together on getting dinner ready."

"O-kay," I said. "So, what would be my positive characteristic that helps you enjoy that?"

"Um . . . your leadership?"

"I'll take it!" It wasn't the most romantic compliment I'd ever gotten and I'd had to pry it out of him but I really suspected his brain didn't work along those lines. I wondered if there was an app that would help him with giving compliments.

We coasted through the other questions and, in the end, I felt I had learned something. We really knew each other more intimately than I would have guessed.

We finished up as we got close to the campground and I put on my navigator cap to get us the rest of the way with the directions he had scribbled down the night before. He had a GPS but for some reason it was never in the car and we didn't use it.

We parked near the office and I waited while he went to check us in. It only took a few minutes and we drove up a short incline then turned left into a parking space behind our little cabin.

"The bathrooms are right there, far enough away to not be disturbed by much foot traffic but close in case you need the facilities at night," he said happily.

I had to smile. He always tried to make things convenient for me. Maybe that was what people meant when they talked about love languages. He expressed his love in a practical way by always trying to make my life easier.

The cabin was small and simple but actually had a stove and working fridge. We opened the windows and found the big sliding door, which reminded me of a stable door, that could be pushed back and the screen door hooked at night to let the breeze through while we slept. There was a covered porch with a picnic table already pushed up on it lengthwise. There was also a fire ring around the end of the cabin with an Adirondack chair and a bench near it.

The road ran in front of our cabin about fifty feet away, and there was one cabin a fair distance below ours with a screen of trees and bushes between for privacy. It was really a very nice camping spot.

"The park ranger who checked me in said the big cabin behind us isn't booked this weekend so we really have our privacy."

"Awesome." I grinned. That could be perfect if my romantic intentions worked out. I'd brought a new baby doll nightie, rose colored, and we could leave the windows open without worrying about people nearby hearing us. It was still pretty hot in August, even up in the mountains, and I aimed to make things even hotter in our cabin.

The beds were heavy but with muscles straining, Dave managed to push two together then I unrolled a sleeping bag over them. I got our cooler unpacked into the fridge then went to build a fire to cook our dinner over the fire pit. There was no way I'd cook on an electric stove when the weather was good. I'd brought some veg to chop and sausages to put in my cast iron fry pan and serve with cornbread I'd made at home. I hoped the kids were eating well for my mother-in-law. The youngest could be a bit picky but Nana was reasonably flexible so I wasn't worried.

I got dinner on while Dave fiddled with his fishing gear, getting everything in order for the next day.

When the sausage and veg was ready, I walked around to the car to tell him. He was sitting on the end of the car with a beer in one hand, thumbing through his phone and frowning.

"Dinner's ready."

He glanced up. "Looks like a possibility of rain on Sunday." He tapped the phone and slid it in the pocket of his cargo shorts then drained the rest of his beer.

I wrinkled my nose, never enjoying the taste of beer in his mouth at the best of times. I hoped he'd brush his teeth before we got into bed later. "I'll dish up dinner."

He followed me around the cabin. "You want something to drink with dinner?" he asked.

"Yeah, one of the cans of seltzer? Thanks."

We sat down on the bench by the fireplace with our filled plates and Dave popped a top on another beer. It surprised me but I didn't say anything. He rarely drank at home. I supposed he was entitled to relax on the first night of our vacation.

After dinner, we cuddled up on the bench. The sun was going down and a chill had seeped into the air. Dave popped the top on a fourth beer that I hadn't noticed him setting beside the bench but I just snuggled into his side. He could still hold a can with one hand while he held me with his other arm.

The logs had died down to a red glow with pretty patterns of cracks throughout and I was mesmerized. Dave put down his beer at some point and started rubbing his palm along my thigh. He hadn't done that in a while though, admittedly, we usually weren't alone snuggled up at home in front of the TV anymore.

I inhaled deeply. The scent of the pines and the sweet smoke of the fire, along with the heat radiating out to warm my front and the heat of Dave at my side had me deeply relaxed. Dave slid his hand up my thigh deliberately and reached up to turn my face in for his kiss. I was a little surprised but pleased. I honestly couldn't remember the last time we had just made out. Kisses were usually quick hellos and good-byes. Sex just didn't require it. He was an ass man and liked to come up on me from behind. Even now, his right hand had retreated from around me to slide down the back of my jeans, into my panties and he began to knead my ass.

I leaned into his kiss and he pushed back, sliding his tongue into my mouth. I opened to him, turning my head slightly and sucking at his tongue. That used to set him off and seemed to do the trick this time as he pushed further and groaned.

My breasts felt heavy and I pushed my whole body against him. I didn't even care about the taste of the beer anymore. His left hand came down and cupped between my legs so I eagerly reciprocated with a hand cupping his cloth covered balls and stroked up over his thickening cock. He groaned and I pulled back with a naughty grin. "I think we better take this inside."

He extracted his hand from the back of my jeans and I rose, grabbing his other hand to lead him inside.

"Wait a sec," I said, grabbing the cover they had put out to smother the fire in the ring.

By the time I set it down, Dave was halfway to the cabin with his hands on the front of his pants and I fleetingly wondered if he'd finish without me if I didn't hurry. I shed my shirt as I closed the door behind me and then the bra as I kicked off my shoes and unbuttoned my jeans. I shoved them down with my panties. The nightie would have to wait. I turned to find Dave on the bed, totally naked and stroking his cock.

I moved forward and knelt on the bed beside him, pushing his hand aside so I could lean down to suck his cock into my mouth. He groaned aloud and I went at it with a vengeance. This was going to be the best, hottest, weekend in living memory for us.

After only a couple down strokes and a swirl of my tongue around the bulbous head of his shaft, I felt his hand in my hair and he grunted. "I'm gonna come."

Luckily, Dave had done the deed after our third kid, so all I had to do was straddle him, position his shaft and slide down onto him. I was more than ready. He groaned loud and hard as I started rolling my hips and grinding. God, it felt so good to be back in the saddle again. I closed my eyes and let my head fall back.

Then I felt him tense and gasp. I knew the sound, he was coming. He hadn't been kidding about how close he was. I slowed down, a little disappointed. I knew he wouldn't have another in him tonight. But maybe we could still cuddle and kiss a little. Plus, I thought as I rocked gently on him, it was okay if tonight was about him. There was plenty of time, we had the whole weekend.

But by the time I'd run to the bathroom, he was passed out and snoring. I stared down at his sleeping form, emotions warring within me -- disappointment, annoyance, affection for the schmuck, and a little sadness. I sighed. I was not remotely ready to sleep.

I on a hoodie then went back out to the campfire. I pulled the cover off and stirred it up, adding another log, which slowly took to flame as I sat down on the bench with my e-reader. Instead of opening it though, I just sat and watched as the flames licked up the side of the log, eating on the dry bark, and overtook it -- little salamanders of gold and red crawling across the surface. It wasn't long before it was fully engulfed and crackling merrily.

I was startled out of my reverie by the crunch of footsteps along the path. Two people were walking by to the lower cabin, talking softly and laughing, hand in hand. I couldn't help but smile at the easy companionship of the couple. The woman must have seen my face reflected in the glow of the fire because she spoke.

"Good evening, neighbor."

"Good evening," I responded.

"Nice fire you've got going," the man joined in as they stopped. "We're in the cabin below. Mind if we join you for a few minutes?"

I was slightly surprised but what could I say? "No, of course not." I just prayed they weren't axe murderers, or worse, Christian missionaries.

They stepped off the path and ambled over. "I do love a good campfire. I'm Sara, by the way." The woman was cheerful and as she got closer, I saw she had the biggest blue eyes I'd ever seen. She sat down next to me on the bench. Her husband took the other chair and I had to work not to stare when he sat down. He was of moderate height, and had medium brown hair cut just above the shoulders and a beard, much like my husband, but where Dave was soft, this guy was solid, muscled and tanned. It was like looking at a woodland god. He sat in the chair as if it were a throne.

"I'm Max," he offered amiably.

"I'm Cara. Well, Carolyn, but my friends call me Cara."

"Ah, cara mia," the woman said, faking an Italian accent and giggled. "It suits you."

"Thanks," I replied, slightly embarrassed but amused too.

At that moment, a loud snore came from the cabin. My neighbors heads both turned to the cabin and Sara looked back at me, her eyes wide and her eyebrows went up. We both burst out laughing at the same time.

"So that's why you're out here," she teased.

I shook my head, grinning. "No, I'm used to that. I'm just . . . not ready to sleep."

Sara patted my knee. "Well, we'll let you get back to your reading. Maybe we can all get together and visit sometime tomorrow."

"That'd be nice." I beamed up at her as she stood. I had liked her immediately and her husband was more than easy on the eyes.

As they walked away, I saw Max slip his hand into the back pocket of Sara's jeans shorts and felt a little creep of envy. I took a deep breath and blew it out. I remembered days of Dave chasing me into the bedroom but those seemed so very long ago. I suddenly felt much more tired. The little log I had put on had quickly burned down and I doused it with some water from the spigot nearby then went in to bed.


I woke the next morning to sunlight coming in the windows. I realized Dave was not sleeping next to me and raised my head to listen. Maybe he'd gone up to the bathrooms? I reached over and picked up my phone from the bedside table, noticing his was gone. It was 6:15.

He must be up at the bathroom, I thought. I got up and pulled on some pants and my hoodie when my phone buzzed. I felt a mild dread. The kids? Work? I hit the button and swiped a finger across the screen.

Dave: Gone fishing, see you later! Mwah!

I sighed. I should have known he'd go out early. I was annoyed to say the least. Guess I wouldn't be going with him. I took a deep breath. Okay, change of plans. I'd find some perfect nature spot to sketch on my own instead and we'd have some fun together when he got back.

After a shower and a granola bar with a yogurt, I was ready to strike out. I had my little pack with a bottle of water and my colored pencils and my sketchbook. It was only 7:30. Which way to go?

I closed the door behind me and looked around. There was a piece of woods below the lower cabin and I thought I might find something pretty to draw there -- a fairy grouping of mushrooms, a particularly gorgeous copse of trees, or some colorful flowers or birds.

I followed the path down past the cabin. As I walked into the woods, I heard the bubbling of a stream somewhere not too far below. About thirty yards farther on, I looked through a screen of bushes and tree trunks, to where some boulders seemed to border one side of a pretty good sized brook. I could sit on one of them and draw. Perfect!

As I searched for a way down to them, the rest of the rocks came into view and I heard a female voice gasp. Then I caught the slap of flesh on flesh and saw them.

My new friends from the night before, Max and Sara, were on the lower boulder. Sara was leaning over the upper boulder, her arms braced on the rock as Max stood behind her, rhythmically thrusting into her. She groaned appreciatively. I could see the plump swell of her full breasts before she leaned forward again.

I clamped a hand over my mouth and started to move back but my foot pushed a stone down the incline which picked up a couple others on the way. Max looked up sharply without breaking his rhythm. His eyes met mine and his lips turned up in a smile as he seemed to thrust a little harder into his partner, his eyes locked on mine.

I felt transfixed as he stared at me. Then his eyes slid shut on a shuddering groan and the spell was broken. I turned and fled back the way I'd come, feeling shaky, my heart still pounding when I reached the cabin. I went straight into the cabin and sat down on the bed. When I closed my eyes, I could still see his blue eyes and hear his groan. It shot a bolt of desire straight through me.

I opened my eyes, determined. When Dave got home, I would be in my smallest top and shortest shorts with a lunch to energize us and we would have some serious fun! I dove into my bag for clothes and started planning.


Lunch came and went with no sign of my husband. Finally, at two o'clock, I texted him -- when are you coming back?

The reply was simple -- Soon, fish are really biting!

I sighed, put my phone down, ate my lunch and got out my book then went out to the bench to sit and read.

I heard the neighbors pass behind the cabin, talking and laughing and held my breath but they never stopped. I wasn't sure whether I wanted them to or not. I was embarrassed enough to have seen them, but it was even worse to have been caught watching.

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byMagicaPractica© 7 comments/ 19093 views/ 5 favorites

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