tagRomanceThe Humper Game Pt. 07 Ch. 03

The Humper Game Pt. 07 Ch. 03

byWilCox49©

Author's note:

This is, in all its seven parts and their many chapters, one very, very long story. If long stories bother you, I suggest you read something else.

No part of this story is written so as to stand on its own. I strongly suggest that you start with Part 1 and read sequentially—giving up at any point you choose, of course.

All sexual activity portrayed anywhere in this story involves only people at least eighteen years old.


-------------------

The next morning, we followed what had become, for six months, our normal Sunday morning schedule. OK, the alarm was a little earlier than it had been, since sex was no longer off limits. We didn't dawdle, but we didn't hurry that either. We were in good time for Sunday School.

Clearly, a few people were surprised to see us, but far more were just used to us and didn't even think about the wedding as the end of a commitment to be there. Well, probably a lot of them weren't even aware that church attendance was a commitment the pastor asked of couples he was marrying. And the wedding itself, and the reception too, had made it clear how many of them had taken us to their hearts. Most of the reactions amounted to, "Hey, they're back!" with questions about the honeymoon.

We spent a while after church talking to Kelly. She had opened the presents, a small handful, that had seemed possibly to contain anything very perishable. There had been a couple with foodstuffs, but they all would have kept very well anyway. In doing this, she had made a start toward putting together a list we could use to make sure everyone was thanked. She had also brought in our mail for us every couple of days, so that we didn't need to have the post office stop it. She had wanted to discuss the gifts Saturday night, but we had been too sleepy. Way too sleepy. Jet-lagged, to coin a phrase.

We prevailed on her to come home with us. I fixed dinner while the girls opened presents and showed them to me. I was surprised at how few were duplicates, and at how few were useless but expensive things. We had decided not to go with some kind of store registry—or I had, and Ellen had gone along. The advantages of gift registries in terms of logistics are obvious and large, but the whole idea bothered me—it felt like a demand, or at least a request, for specific items, and also a way to steer business to specific stores. I had wanted people to come, or to join us in rejoicing if they couldn't come, not to help us get started in life, materially. Some of the gifts were very welcome, but in fact the most welcome ones were nothing we would have thought to ask for.

I said something about the lack of duplicated gifts, and Ellen said, "I gave Sam a few suggestions, but I told a lot of people to check with her about what she knew we already had or about what they were giving, so that duplicates could be avoided. The suggestions weren't to get around what you had said about not registering, they were because some people really wanted suggestions."

Kelly added, "Sam and I talked, too. People at church asked me for suggestions. You can be sure that I told them that you would be really happy with no gifts at all, before I suggested anything. But I said, if they wanted to get you something, let me know so I could pass it on to Sam, to avoid duplicates. We texted each other with anything people told us they were getting, or asked us about. I know we both really tried to make clear that you didn't want anyone to feel obligated at all."

"Kelly, thank you. I really do mean that. But you were already doing so much! I'm sorry you took that on too."

"Phil, you need to understand something. It was really great talking to Sam, the day she was here. She told me some things, and I had to say you'd already told me about them—but it was good to get her perspective. But she said several times, she owes you more than she could ever repay you.

"And you know, I owe you a lot, too. I can't quote passages the way you can, but I can quote this one: 'For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain." Is it for oxen that God is concerned? Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the thresher thresh in hope of sharing in the crop. If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?' And he said something like that in 1 Timothy, too.

"You, both of you, have put a lot of time into helping me learn things I should have learned a long time ago. Realistically, I'm sure I don't owe you as much as Sam does, but this falls a long way short of paying you back. Stop worrying about it, Phil!"

I gave up. I did go over and really hug her, saying, "Thank you so much!" I thought about pointing out to her how much I, at least, enjoyed our discussions, and that she had fed us most of those times. But as I say, I gave up and conceded the point. Anyway, she was going on.

"I know this one goes both ways, but it has meant more than I can tell you to have you running with me every day. I've enjoyed it, but more than that, you've motivated me to keep at it, and to push myself in ways I never would have without you. And I'm really afraid I should be telling you to push yourself more, faster than I can keep up with. Other things you're doing, the taekwondo in particular, have you enough fitter than I am that I'm holding you back."

"Well, for the present I'm fine. I know my instructor would like me to be pushing ahead faster, but I've already told him I don't think you can keep up if I do. And I don't think I can motivate myself running by myself, either. He understands. It means I'm learning more slowly than I might, but I really think the difference is minimal. If I find that daily running is somehow really holding me back, I'll talk to you."

Ellen said, "I hope the attack you have to face isn't somebody really trained, but more like what happened with Mr. Miles." I looked at her, and she said, "OK, John. To please you, not him—although he's right enough. Kelly, this was at school, and he's an instructor—but they all have multiple jobs. He was attacked by a student with a knife. He was part of the group making the arrest, and you heard about that. So it wasn't quite out of the blue, he had more reason than normal to be alert, but I doubt that made any difference. Phil was there and saw it when it happened, but in the trial we all watched videos they took of the arrest."

"From what happened this past week, with Sharkey, I can tell you that it almost certainly made no difference. I wasn't expecting it, but everything about Sharkey told me to be ready for an attack, and he wound up enough that I could see the punch coming before he threw it at me. He gave me several seconds to get ready, and that was plenty. Actually, Wagner gave John less warning, but he did talk for a second or more, and he lunged from a little distance. I was totally surprised when it happened, but at this point I know that John could see it coming before the knife was pulled. The training makes you more aware."

Kelly was kind of staring at us. "What on earth happened? Last week, I mean."

"We stopped and did a little thank-you gift shopping, and when we were just walking back to the car, a guy with a grudge against me spotted us. Someone from school. He apparently ran up behind us—there were witnesses, and they said that—but the first I knew was that he grabbed my shoulder and yanked me around. If he really wanted to attack me, he talked way too much. Then he tried to flatten my nose. OK, the punch was moving fast when it came, but it was no trouble to move aside and grab his arm and twist it behind him. What was really amazingly fast was the police showing up. One of the witnesses called 911, and that had to be fast, but the squad car couldn't have been more than a block away. And Ellen, you were unbelievably fast getting the video started."

Ellen said, "Phil's being modest again. What he's said is true, he had warning, but not all that much. But his reaction was to go into a taekwondo move that would have flipped Sharkey over onto his back, probably hitting his head, too. I've seen them practice it. Over and over. He managed to decide that was an overreaction, and to turn it into a wrestling hold, in an instant. And Phil, don't you dare forget to show your instructor that video on Saturday! In fact, though, I'm going to send it to John, now that I think about it. I know he'll be interested."

We wound up watching the video after we ate. In the meantime, the gifts all got opened and admired, and a list made. Most of it was stuff we would make use of, but have to lug around when we moved. Some of the gifts were very obviously personally chosen, and would be precious to us for that reason. I'd better not get started trying to list them all. At the time, I'm afraid that I was thinking too much of where to store them and about how long it would take to write notes thanking everyone.

That night, at bedtime, Ellen sat on the edge of the bed and looked at me seriously. "Phil, it's not the best time to bring this up, but we're going to have schedule issues for a while. May we please talk for a few minutes now?"

"If you think we need to discuss something now, we'd better talk." I grabbed the chair we had in there, turned it so I could sit facing her, and took her hand.

She looked hesitant. "Phil, the decision on this is yours. I said I'm through saying no to you about sex, and I meant it. And I still do mean it. And you sort of know what I'm about to say, but I'm pretty sure you don't know I feel as strongly as I do.

"You know I love for you to make love to me, maybe even more than you do. But—it's what I said on our wedding night, about that one time, but it's more general. That first time, out on the grass, was really wonderful. Lots of other times have been even more wonderful, but still, sex with you can be wonderful whether I come or not. That first orgasm, a few days later, even with an audience, that was gloriously wonderful. You bring me great pleasure, constantly. And I love it and enjoy it.

"But what is really meaningful to me isn't an orgasm, or five orgasms, or any number. Having you love me and want me, having you there with me, trying to make things good for me, that's what matters. Being able to make things good for you, too. What you said Sally told you, it's like that. If somehow I could never come again, I'd still want you and look forward to years of sharing our bed and making love.

"On top of that, when you really work to bring me to climax after climax, no matter how, well, sometimes in the end I get a little sore, and it can last for a day or two, and longer if we keep doing the same.

"Will you really trust me, the way I trust you, on this? Do your best to make me ready, maybe help me come once before you come in, if you like, but then come in and let me hold you while you lie there inside me? Don't even hold back too much to try to give me more? And trust me when I say, most of the time that's what I really want?

"Any time you really want to do more, even if it's teasing me until I'm screaming at you, I'm yours. But to whatever extent you're doing more to make it good for me, please, please remember that what's really good for me is being your wife and partner and lover. You show you love me all the time, you don't need to prove it that way."

She was crying a little by the time she finished.

I stood up long enough to pick her up and sit down again, with her in my lap, my arms around her. "Ellen, if you'll let me once in a while see how much sheer pleasure I can give you, I really will try to remember what you've just told me and not try to, most of the time. Please tell me if I'm still doing it too much. I haven't meant to be selfish! I'm sorry that I have.

"Part of it is that I'm always afraid, if I don't get you to come first, I may not be able to hold on long enough later. And I've seen that coming before I go in makes you readier to come once I'm in. But if that's really not what you want, I'll try to quit worrying about that. I'll try to bring you to come once ahead of time, at least a good amount of the time, but most of the time not to. If it's still too much, please tell me. And any time you want me not to wait, tell me!

"Should I be concerned about your being sore tonight? We've had an awful lot of sex this past week. Do you want to skip making love entirely, tonight or for a couple of days?"

The tears were pretty much gone. "Phil, I don't know whether I'm sore right now. Not too much, anyway. No, please make love to me, I've been counting on it. But please, understand what I said. You don't want a slave, doing whatever you say, whose opinions and wants don't count. So I'm asking you something that I think will make things better for me. But you are in charge, especially in this. You're so good to me, and I love you so much. You've always been good to me, since that very first time—even when I was being totally unreasonable to you, and that's two times for sure. I trust you totally in this. If I felt more strongly, I know you would put it in my hands, even though that would be a bad idea. Just try to remember that what I want isn't always more physical pleasure. Please."

I stood up, holding Ellen, and turned back the bedclothes. I laid her on the bed, then turned off the light and got into bed with her. I tried to be as gentle as I could, getting her as ready as I could without teasing or taking too long. When I went in, she was moving with me and starting to tighten up almost from the first, and I didn't hold back when she came just a little later.

When we were done, after I came out, she clung to me and kissed me. "Phil, I love you. I don't deserve you. Thank you. That's just what I want, a lot of the time anyway."

"I warn you, I'm likely to hold back if I can, a lot of the time. I'm sorry, but it's better for me to build up more than that. I really will try not to make it all the time, though. And let me know if you really need me to back off."

We went to sleep, wrapped around each other, and slept through until the alarm went off.

-------------------

Monday morning we were starting to try to get back on schedule. We had run a few days on our honeymoon, but hadn't gotten up extra early for it. Of course, we were still adapting to three hours later, so getting up for running on a busy day wasn't that big a deal. And in spite of all that talking at bedtime, we'd gotten to sleep plenty early enough.

We'd spent time with Kelly both Saturday and Sunday, but we hadn't seen Elise since the wedding reception, and she was feeling really excited for us. We lifted weights with Kelly—something we all could do together, while still at our own levels—and then stretched a bit while we waited. Elise was a little early, too. She hugged all of us, chattering to Ellen and me, and then she and Ellen started off together, and Kelly and I followed.

After a minute or so, I said, "Are you up to going a little faster?"

"Go ahead and we'll see. Maybe. I think so."

I sped up some, and she matched me. We talked. I did a lot more of the talking, but she didn't seem to be out of breath when she talked. I eventually said, "Let's try it like this for a day or two, and see if we can't ratchet it up a little more after that. I'm pretty sure I'm ready, but I think you're right, I can manage more than you can, with the other things I'm doing. And I'd rather run with you than keep trying to push as hard as I can."

She took my arm for just a second or two. "This feels easy enough, we should just try it now."

"Ellen and Elise are going to be stopping any minute. But tomorrow, then, if you're sure it's OK."

I was right, the others slowed down just about then, and we walked too when we caught up. As we went out, Elise told me, "From things Ellen had said before, I expected your wedding to be a little more casual. If that's the word I want. Non-traditional, maybe. You got in all the usual things that matter, anyway. And it was just beautiful, and you have the nicest friends! I'm so glad I got to talk a little to some of them, mostly Ellen and Deedee, but a lot of others came to talk to them, and they all included me too. Um. I probably heard a few things I'm not really supposed to know about, since I didn't before, and I won't spread them around. They only showed you're both even better people than I already knew. Anyway, thank you for inviting me to the reception."

We headed our separate directions. Despite our all being still kind of warm and sticky, Kelly hugged both of us when she turned off. She said, "I got to meet people more than Elise did, and it was wonderful. I'll keep praying for Jenny. She was really happy for you two, but I could see it kind of hurt, too. No, that's too strong. It left her really wistful."

Ellen said, "I don't want to gossip, but I think it's OK to say that her current relationship isn't working out. She's afraid that—. Well, it's a little like having emergency, major surgery. Something drastic is needed, but the cure may kill the patient. And it's going to be extra hard in a way, because what she has to say now has to be said by phone. Except that I think he could fast-talk her more easily if it were face to face. So pray for her to say what she needs to, but in the right way, and for the right response from him—whatever that means, in this case.

"But I know we're really hoping for her to really figure herself out, too, and to be willing to recognize what she needs. To insist on what she needs, but let go of—no, not let go of what she wants, but to recognize the difference. It hurts us both, seeing her in trouble, but Phil especially. She was his first true love, and he still loves her, maybe more than he does me, deep down." I looked at her in surprise. "Phil, it could never work, I know that, not unless she changed in some important ways. She's, well, impulsive. Unless she could learn to control that, you'd have kept having minor disasters, and some major ones. I hope I can keep trusting you consistently enough, but I can do it more than Jenny. And you know that if I really had thought you could make it work, I'd have pushed you at her and gotten out of the way, much as I wanted you for myself. She loves you, but she wants too many other things, too."

Kelly hugged us both again, and we hurried off. No sex in the shower that morning. We were going to have to figure out how to tweak our schedules a little. Or something.

-------------------

We really worked that first week, writing all our thank-you notes. We certainly called a bunch of people to say thanks, and we emailed some as well, but we felt that the gifts were more than worth handwritten notes. So many people had really worked to find something nice, something we would like or use!

We were also busy getting into our summer jobs. Mine was theoretically flexible, and as the summer went on that did come into it—but for the first month or more, I had regular meetings with the professors daily and regular hours working with the data. I had more responsibility than I had expected for the research. I read everything, making notes sometimes, trying to get things in order, but I was asked to use my brain, too. If anything didn't really add up, I made notes and brought it up the next time we met—or in a couple of cases called one or the other of them, because something seemed important. I actually did some of the followup research, sometimes finding sources they had missed and bringing those to their attention.

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