It Happened in the Night Ch. 01-02byloganforester©
This is an entry in the Halloween story contest. Thanks to Mistresslynn for her editing and help throughout writing this story.
This story is the first two chapters of a very long tale that will encompass many different categories on lit. Not all chapters will contain sex.
CHAPTER 1: TIES THAT BIND
It happened in the night. At least it was nighttime in the small southern Ontario town where Brian Johnson lived. For others it happened in an instant, exposed to the stark light of day. Darkness hid how suddenly things changed. The story began the day before.
Brian's alarm clock issued a loud wailing sound, much like a siren's call. His wife by instinct alone reached over and turned it off before rolling over and returning to sleep. He tried to look through sleep-blurred eyes, but could not focus. The room seemed vaguely familiar with its freshly painted walls. They had chosen a deep eggplant shade in sharp contrast to the hospital white that had previously adorned them.
As his vision cleared, he could begin to see his wife's naked form lying beneath the warm covers of their bed. Her long brown tresses flowed over her shoulders like a waterfall. It was funny how even after ten years together looking at her semi-naked body could still make his body respond. The familiar feeling of blood rushing from his brain towards his cock made him very aware of her proximity.
He rubbed the last of the sleep from his eyes as he slid over next to her. His boxers were the only encumbrance preventing his growing erection from pressing directly against her bare ass. Fingers encircled her waist and sought out her breasts. He could hear her ragged breathing as his body pressed against her. Nipples hardened as his hands gripped them.
"Good morning sexy," he whispered in her ear. A feeling of heat radiated over her neck causing goose bumps to break out all over her body. She could feel a tingling sensation all the way down to her toes, causing her to curl them involuntarily.
"Morning hon," she replied finally waking up just a bit. Karen couldn't help but stretch, warming up her napping muscles. The bit of movement only served to fuel his excitement.
She reached back and felt his erection through his boxers. It felt good in her hand and she knew he loved it. Turning, she leaned over and gave him a tender kiss on the mouth. He returned her kiss with tongue probing passion.
"You know I'm not into morning sex. Besides, you wouldn't want to be late for your first day back at work," she said grinning as she rolled onto her back to face him. Karen knew how much he dreaded returning to work after their weeks' holidays. He always had to work extra long hours before and after any time off to make up for his absence. Such was the case for small business owners, but she still wasn't very happy about the extra time away from her and the kids.
"Yeah, I'm real eager to get back to work," he remarked rolling his eyes. "I should get up and going anyway. You just stay in bed. Such a rough life you have."
"I know. That's why I'm so tired all the time," she responded as she playfully smacked him on the ass.
Brian walked out of the bedroom and past the kids' bedrooms, making sure to be quiet. He knew his wife would give him big trouble if he woke them up early. Into the kitchen he went, pouring himself a glass of grapefruit juice and a bowl of cereal. It was the same thing for breakfast every morning. Brian was a creature of habit. He liked to have everything organized, planned and hated surprises.
Usually he would watch TV before work. He realized it would be the same morning news as usual. Issues south of the border would dominate the discussion. Between the housing crisis, war in Iraq, mounting debt and currency issues he was more than a little concerned about where the economy was going. Not to mention the election that seemed to drag on forever. His business was purely Canadian, but what happened in America had a way of spilling over into Canada as well. This was one of his biggest concerns.
With that in mind, he walked over to the dining room window. They had only lived in their house for a little over a year but it already felt like it had been their home forever. The view from the dining room window offered a nice vista of the outdoor community pool next door. The sparkling blue water was a favorite attraction for him and the kids. Karen often referred to him as a big kid. Beyond the pool was the playground, walking trails through the forest and a small river with a waterfall from the local dam.
"This is why I put up with this everyday," he muttered to himself. The entire family loved the house and his large salary was the only way to keep it. Even though his days ranged from dull, to exceedingly unpleasant, he felt it was his responsibility. They had long since decided that Karen would stay home with the two young children until they were both in school full time. So until then it was on him to pay the bills.
Time was running short, so Brian needed to get moving. He finished his juice and cereal, shaved and dressed for work. To make his anxiety about returning to work even better today, he had his black dress shirt with the company logo on. It had been a gift from his father, his boss, at the company Christmas party the previous year. It really was a very nice shirt, but it just reinforced to Brian how stuck with the situation he was.
As he slipped on his work shoes, he looked around the house one final time. His short-term memory was terrible. He was always forgetting things. You know they say the memory is the first thing to go as you get older he thought to himself. The previous day was his thirtieth birthday and it still bummed him out a little.
On his way out of the house, he walked by stairs covered in pumpkins. Corn stalks hung from the posts that held up the porch roof. Karen loved to decorate for any occasion and fall was no exception. Inside it already resembled a Halloween haunted house and outside a typical autumn scene.
He thought again about growing older as he drove to work. It wasn't so much his advancing age as it was the realization of time slipping away. Every year time seemed to accelerate. Their were many goals that Brian still wanted to accomplish and with all his time and energy going to either work or his family, it didn't seem like he was making much progress.
That thought echoed in his mind as he pulled into the empty driveway. Brian was glad to be there early. It would be another half hour before the rest of his staff arrived. The early morning was often the most productive time for him, before the chaos of the regular shift.
Walking into the plant brought back all the familiar memories that he had allowed to fade into the background during his week away. His mind conjured up the sounds of saws, screw guns, dust collectors and edge-banders humming towards a common goal. Brian conducted his normal walk-through to check on the status of all his departments. They tended to slack off when he was gone, so he intended to see what the situation was before any of them arrived.
He found exactly what he had expected. All of the areas were at least a day behind schedule. Shaking his head, he went to his office to see what messages he had to deal with. His head started to throb as he took one look at his desk and couldn't control his anger any longer.
"For fuck sakes! I go away for a week and my desk is a complete disaster."
His keyboard was barely detectable from underneath the gigantic stack of packing slips, invoices and messages. Binders of every color under the rainbow covered his desk. Not only was he swamped with work, but it was going to take an hour or two just to figure out where to start cleaning up this mess. The day was already taking a toll on his fragile psyche and it was still early.
To make matters worse the light flashed on his phone showing he had a message. He picked it up, cradled it to his ear and waited to see who wasn't coming in today. That was normally the case when there was a message on the phone this early in the morning. "Hi Brian its Roger. My grandma passed away on the weekend and I'm not going to be in for a few days. I'll call you on Wednesday after the funeral to let you know. Talk to you later, bye."
His mind began mentally rearranging the production schedule he kept in his brain at all times. It amazed him sometimes how he could compartmentalize and track those items so often and yet forget the smallest things. Karen always teased him about telling him to bring something home and ten minutes later, he would leave and completely forget about it. He would tell himself he had a great memory; it was just very short.
"Well there goes my saw operator," he exclaimed shaking his head.
The sound of workers coming in interrupted his train of thought. He slowly worked through clearing off his desk while he listened intently as all the rest of the staff filed in. Machines started up and noise filled the office before he got up and closed the door.
Moments later he heard the door open again. "So how was your holiday?" Gary said, as he entered the room.
"Oh hi Dad, it was fine. Nothing exciting," stated Brian, still miffed. "I see things went great while I was gone," sarcasm dripping from his voice.
"What do you mean?"
"Well, assembly is a day behind. I'm not sure what happened in finishing while I was gone plus we're an entire cut behind and now my saw operator is gone for the next three days!"
"Roger's not coming in?"
"Apparently his Grandma died and he's not coming in till Thursday. I have no idea how I'm supposed to get back on schedule."
"Well, we have to do what we have to do. We can't be behind," he declared, as he closed the door and walked out.
Brian could barely control his anger. "That was really fucking helpful. Thanks a lot. No wonder it gets like this every time I go away. It's like I have to do everything myself," he responded talking to himself, knowing nobody was around to hear him.
Brian took a little time to get a hold of himself and went back to work. He talked to all his department heads and worked out a plan to put things back on track. They all really liked Brian and felt bad for him that the pressure seemed to land on his shoulders all the time. They decided to stay late every night this week and come in on Saturday if they had to. The business was headed into their busy time of year and they couldn't afford to get behind since they would never be able to recover if they did.
By lunchtime, Brian had managed to get back in control of things and was feeling a little better about the situation. It was then that Lou stopped by his office on his way to the lunchroom.
"Hey Brian. Did you want to see pictures of my trip?"
"Oh yeah, I almost forgot you were away, too. Sure, I'd love to." Brian flipped through the pictures that Lou handed to him and tried to hide his jealousy. Lou had just gotten back from two weeks in the Mediterranean, a trip he would love to take and couldn't afford with only his income.
"Yeah that's the one of me and the wife on Santorini. See the view of the bay and all the white houses. They say it's the best sunset in the world. Man it was crowded with people, but really awesome," Lou confirmed, going through the pictures as Brian flipped them.
Brian really liked Lou. He was one of his best workers and really good at fabricating countertops. Lou was originally from Australia, so even after three years Brian could still catch his thick accent as he spoke.
"Wow that does look nice."
"This one is of the best just outside Athens. It was a scorcher that day mate. The water was so cold and clear though. Janice loved it. There she is lying on the beach."
"It looks like you had great weather for it, too. So what was the best part?"
"Probably the stop-over in Patmos. It's in Turkey. They have the most amazing ruins there. It was a great two weeks. We just got in last night, still a little jetlagged though."
"Thanks for the pics. I'll talk to you later, you should get eating lunch," Brian responded.
Nobody but Karen knew how much Brian wanted to travel and that they couldn't afford to. There was an entire drawer in his home office full of travel brochures that he read periodically. He even made a list of the top places he wanted to visit. Turkey was high on that list.
Talking with Lou simply reinforced what he'd been feeling for months now leading up to his thirtieth birthday yesterday. It came and went with no fanfare except for his wife and kids. The goals that Brian had set for himself were slipping away. Time was moving so fast he couldn't keep up with it.
Brian buried himself in his work for the rest of the day. His head cleared as he struggled to get back on track. Five o'clock came and went until he was again alone in the building. Six o'clock passed with him still slaving away at his desk, as he so often was.
Brian heard the phone ring through his intense concentration. "Hello," he answered.
"Are you coming home sometime tonight?"
"What time is it hon?"
"It's already after 6:30. We've eaten and the kids will be in bed in a couple hours, are you going to see them today at all?"
"I'll be leaving soon. It's been a long damn day. Love you babe."
"See you when you get here. Bye."
He hung up the phone, looked over his desk, got up and left. There has to be more to life than this daily grind Brian thought to himself as he reached into his pocket, pulled out his keys and crossed the empty parking lot.
The drive home proved to be uneventful. He pulled his car into the driveway and parked. Just then, a familiar sound greeted him.
"Yeah, Daddy's home. Hi Dad."
"Hey, Matt how you doing. How was kindergarten today?"
"Good. Well ... you know what? We had a fireman come to the school today and we had to go outside."
"Like a fire drill?"
"Yeah a fire drill and he had his suit and hat on and we got to sit in his truck and ..."
"Wow that's awesome bud," Brian responded smiling already. Coming home to the kids after a long day always lifted his spirits.
"And he even let us turn on the siren. But it was really loud, it was ignoring me."
"Yeah," he said, shaking his head emphatically.
"You mean annoying you."
"Yeah annoying me, and then we had to go back inside. Oh Brandon's outside, can I go play with him?"
"Sure bud, stay where we can see you."
He opened the door and walked inside already feeling better about his day. The air had a faint aroma from the dinner he'd missed. "Hi Honey I'm home."
"Daddy, are you?" uttered this little voice toddling around the corner from his bedroom.
Brian knew his son was asking where he was. "Where's Josh?"
"Here I am," was the response as he pointed to his little belly. Brian quickly scooped him in his arms and began to tickle his tummy. "Tickle, tickle, tickle," the voice responded.
Brian's smile beamed from ear to ear. Each day his little boy became more and more like a big person. He learned another word or two every single day that Brian was away at work.
"Swimming? No swimming tonight little man." Brian looked out the window at the public pool and all the kids swimming. The sunlight glistened off the pristine waters only disturbed by the few people inside.
"A bath? Yeah, we could do that. Josh want a bath?"
"Ok baby," Josh replied with a grin firmly planted on his face.
Brian carried his son down the hallway and noticed his wife walking out of their bedroom wearing her black pj outfit with pink trim. "Looking good hon. Ready for bed already?" he mentioned, giving her a wink.
"Don't you wish? Keep it in your pants," she remarked, laughing as she stopped to give him a long slow kiss with a hint of open mouth. "Did you want me to bathe him, while you eat dinner?"
"You run the water, I'll bathe him. I haven't seen him all day." Brian took his son into the bedroom and got him ready for the bath. He shuddered every time he saw the large scar in the middle of his chest, even after almost three years. The thoughts of his son attached to all the tubes following his open-heart surgery still flashed in the back of his mind.
Pushing those thoughts out of his head, he carried Josh into the bathroom and plunked him in the tub with a splash. Moments later Brian was wiping water from his eyes. Josh's feet and hands splashed a mile a minute under the shallow water. He had loved the water since his very first bath and this was no exception. Brian bathed his son the same as any other night since both of them enjoyed it very much.
Josh prattled away as usual when his father took him into his bedroom and put his jammies on. The usual nighttime routine of turning on his fan, nightlight and music box was completed and Josh placed into his crib.
"Night Josh. I love you."
"Love you, Daddy."
Brian closed his bedroom door and headed into the main living room in the basement of their house. It was really a walkout onto a deck, which overlooked the backyard. With ten-foot ceilings, this was hardly a typical basement. It had been the biggest selling feature that had attracted them to buying the house in the first place. They had done all the work to finish it themselves over the past year.
"Hey Dad want to play ball with me?"
"Matthew, it's time for bed. Get Daddy to read you a story," said Karen looking over the top of her crossword puzzle sitting on the couch.
"Oh man, why do I have to go to bed?"
"Come on buddy, it's late and you have to get some sleep before you go to Grandma's tomorrow."
"Oh fine. I want you to read Berenstein Bears."
"Ok, come on let's go."
They fled up the stairs together and into the bathroom for teeth brushing. Matt sat up on the counters in the bathroom next to his fish tank. They had bought their multi-colored fish a year ago because they thought that a pet would be good for Matt.
"I better feed Rainbow before bedtime," he said, as he dropped a few tiny pellets into the water. Rainbow gobbled them up before you could even blink. "Night Rainbow."
Matt hopped off the counter and into his room, where the fan was already running and his three nightlights were shining brightly. "Can you read the racing one, Dad?"
"Ok, here it is," Brian replied as he lay down on the bed next to his son and began to read to him. It was always a good bonding time reading with Matt since he was starting to be able to make out some of the words for himself. The days of being able to skip through the story quickly because his eyes were hurting him were over. Matt could tell every time he missed a word and wondered what it was.
"Time for sleep buddy. A squeeze, a hug and a kiss," he told his son as performed the nighttime ritual that they had for the last few years. "What time is it?" Brian asked as he pressed the top of his son's "Cars" alarm clock to illuminate the time.
"8:52. Night Dad."
Wearily, Brian retreated to the basement, hoping to relax a bit and enjoy his evening at last. Karen was still sitting on the couch engrossed in her crossword puzzle when he came down and sat beside her. "Hey sexy girl," he commented, putting his arm around her and pulling her against him.
"How was your day," she replied.
"Just amazing. I get to work and there is a huge stack of papers on my desk, all my departments are behind schedule and Dad doesn't really seem to care. Other than that it was great."
"Sounds like a lovely way to start the week. The kids were pretty good today actually, but I think they miss you after being with you for the last week."
"Not much I can do about it; there will be lots of late nights to get caught up. Some days I hate my job."