tagNonConsent/ReluctanceThe Reluctant Wife Ch. 02

The Reluctant Wife Ch. 02

byval wrangler©

This story won't make much sense if you haven't read the first part, so I urge you to check that out, then read this. Enjoy.

*

Thursday. Six days gone, and other than a quick email on Saturday telling me that she'd got to where she was going, I hadn't heard a peep from Laura. No word as to where she was or why she was there.

I was loathe to call her folks because I couldn't think of any way to ask if she was there or if they knew where she'd gone. That would have opened a can of worms I really didn't want to open.

She'd asked me to think about what I'd done, and I'd spent almost every waking moment doing just that. It had certainly gotten in my way at work. One of the other junior members of the firm had taken to calling me Space Cadet and it was only a matter of time until one of the senior partners heard about the sudden downturn in my work performance. I was the guy on the fast track and there were lots of people behind me who'd like nothing more than to slow down my progress. I had to try to pull myself together.

But where the hell had Laura gone?

About mid-afternoon, Cindy bounced her way to my desk. She had on a sweater and skirt that left little to the imagination and was JUST this side of being inappropriately dressed for a law office. All the guys had been ogling her most of the day.

"Hey, James," she said, parking her behind on the corner of my desk, "Charlie has been saying all morning that he thinks you're losing it. What's up?"

She leaned farther over the desk, her boobs practically falling out of the sweater.

I squeezed my eyes shut and I'm sure she noticed. "Nothing. I think I've got some sort of stomach bug and we're so busy, I don't dare take any time off. I'll be all right."

Cindy's voice took on a seductive huskiness. "You haven't had a chance to reconsider my offer, have you? I could take you home and nurse you back to health."

At the mention of the word "nurse", we both looked down at her ample breasts.

"No. I just need to make it through tomorrow and then I'm going to do nothing this weekend except to try to get better."

"Isn't your wife taking care of you?"

"She's pretty busy, too. Like I said, we're going to take the weekend and lay low."

Cindy grinned. "Laying low sounds great to me. Actually, laying any way sounds great to me. If she doesn't take care of you, do us both a favor and call me."

With that she wiggled that fine little butt of hers out of my office. I put my head down on my arms.

Maybe I was being a fool. Maybe I was backing the losing horse in this race.

As I drove home to another long and lonely night, I thought for the hundredth time about what I'd done the previous week. I still felt that I'd had no choice. If I'd done nothing, nothing would have gotten better. We'd talked around and around the problem for over a year with no progress. Laura was just not willing to even entertain the THOUGHT of changing her ways. She'd needed something to shake her up and I'd given her that.

Each night I'd come home, it had been with the hope that I might see some lights on, might not come home to a cold and empty house. Tonight was no different, except that snow had started to fall. They were predicting a big dump, the kind you get to expect in January in Chicago. Maybe I'd have the perfect excuse to stay home tomorrow. An extra day off would certainly help me get my head back together.

Going to the fridge, I got out a frozen pasta dinner, third one this week. With the door still held open by my right hand, I considered whether to open a bottle of wine or pour myself some scotch on the rocks. The scotch won out and I grabbed a handful of cubes and slammed the door shut.

The glass was a crystal one, part of a set that had been a wedding present from my secretary. The ice made an inviting tinkle as I tossed in the cubes. After putting the pasta in the microwave, I wandered off to my office to fill my glass with liquid memory wiper.

Tonight was the time to forget. Tomorrow would be the time to move on.

Booting up my laptop, I stared at the screen as it went through the warm up sequence, a gulp of scotch boring a warming hole in my stomach. With another gulp, I put it down and checked my email for about the fiftieth time that day. Usual junk mail, a funny email from my brother, but not a peep from the person I needed most to hear from. Was she gone for good? Maybe someone would show up at the door and serve me with the divorce papers. If she really wanted to be cruel, she'd do it when I was at work.

I picked up my scotch and wandered out to the kitchen after the microwave alert sounded for the third of fourth time. Five minutes after I'd finished eating it, I couldn't have told you what kind of pasta it was.

The Bulls were playing that night, so I flipped on the TV and tried to switch off my brain.

The ringing phone jolted me out of an extended doze. I looked at the clock on the wall: 9:30.

"Yeah?"

There was silence for a couple of heartbeats and then Laura's voice, "James?"

"That's me."

"Your voice sounds strange."

"Really? I can't imagine why."

Silence again.

I had to pull myself together. This was not the way to start what could be our last civil conversation.

"I'm sorry, Laura. I'd dozed off and I'm not quite awake." I'd also had two pretty healthy drinks. "Where are you?"

"Chicago. My plane just got in. They've closed O'Hare and there isn't a cab to be had anywhere."

"Would you like me to pick you up?"

"That sort of was the idea."

I got up and looked out the window. The snow was coming down really hard, and there was a stiff wind whipping it around.

"It might take me awhile."

"I'll wait."

"I'll call your cell when I'm out front. What airline?"

"United. Don't rush, though. It's pretty miserable out."

"See you soon."

She clicked off without a further word. I felt like I should toss a coin. Heads I win, tails I lose. Her voice and words had told me nothing.

Laura maybe thinks too much. I marveled at how often she'd mull something over about twice as long as any normal human, but she would always come up with the right answer. Question was, what would be the correct answer for her this time?

Coming from northern New York State, I'm used to driving in bad snow, but that night I was at the edge of my ability. Fortunately, most sane people had believed the weather man and gone home for the night, so the expressway was not all that crowded. Still, it took twenty minutes longer than usual to make the trip to O'Hare.

Laura was standing at one of the windows as I drove up. I barely had time to get out of the car before she was at the curb with her overnight bag.

"Hi," I said. "Welcome back."

Her face was unreadable. "Thanks for coming out."

As I put her bag in the back seat, I asked casually, "Am I taking you home?"

Her voice sounded strained as she answered, "I'm not sure. Maybe a hotel would be easier."

"Is that going to be a room for one or two?"

"You're not making this any easier."

"Who said it had to be easy, Laura? We need to talk, and I don't care if we do it at home, in a hotel or even out here."

A small grin flashed across Laura's face as she brushed some of the blowing snow off her hair. "Somehow standing out here doesn't really appeal to me.

I held open the car door for her. She stopped for a moment when part way in, and I thought she was going to say something, but she looked down and slipped all the way into the car.

"Why don't I take you to one of the airport hotels? I don't think it would be wise to go all the way downtown tonight."

Laura put her hand on mine where it rested on the stick shift. "Take me home, Jim. Okay?"

I kept my face as blank as I could manage. "Sure. Anything you want."

We said about ten words during the trip.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Laura actually asked for a glass of wine when we got home. I brought it to her in the living room. She'd parked herself on one of the sofas. I chose the other across the room from her, another scotch in my hand. Each of us sat sipping our drinks and it was obvious that neither wanted to start things off.

Not one to wait too long, I opened. "Where did you go?"

Laura looked down into her wine glass. "To see someone I haven't seen in years."

"And where was that?"

"California. She lives in California now."

"Care to tell me about it?"

I stared at her and I knew she felt it.

Laura took a long swallow, bigger than was her want.

"When I was younger, I was very close to my cousin. Her name is Amy and she's a year older than me. As children, we were inseparable. I thought that she would be the best person to talk to about...about what happened...between us."

"How come you've never before mentioned this cousin you were so close to?"

Laura swallowed the final bit of wine in her glass. I crossed the room to re-fill it.

"Thanks. I haven't seen Amy for over ten years. She was, for want of a better word, expelled from our family."

"Why?"

"Well, that's a long story. She did something bad. And...it involved me."

"Then why weren't you thrown out, too?"

"Because I took my punishment and Amy wouldn't."

"So what does Amy do now?"

"She's a minister."

I had just taken a sip of my scotch and immediately choked on it. Laura sat looking at me as I coughed, her thoughts obviously turned inward.

Finally, I could speak. "You went to your cousin the minister to tell her your problems?"

"I didn't know she was a minister until I got out there. I just flew San Diego and showed up at her door."

"Okay, so what did you say to her?"

"I told her all about what's come between us, how you've become frustrated with me and about what you did."

I nodded, figuring the axe was about to fall on our marriage. "And what did she say?"

"A lot of things. Mostly that I was being unreasonable."

THAT surprised me. "Unreasonable?"

"It started off sounding a lot like what her mother might have said about men and sex."

A light bulb went on in my head. "Let me get this straight: Amy is your Aunt Jane's daughter?"

Laura nodded. "You can imagine what it would have been like having someone like Aunt Jane for your mother. Amy was always wild, always getting in trouble, and often putting me on the hot seat, too. Anyway, she started out just like her mom, then part way through, she stopped and told me, 'Does all this garbage make sense to you? That the love between a man and a woman shouldn't also be manifested physically? If the Good Lord didn't want us to enjoy sex, why did he give us orgasms, make women available most of the year and give us clitoris'? Answer that!'

"To say the least, I was very surprised. My cousin always could throw me for a loop. I've had things happen in the past that I just haven't been able to emotionally get around. When I start responding to you physically, I just shut down. I know it's crazy, but that's the way it is. Intellectually, I know that it's stupid, but I can't get around it emotionally.

"Amy told me she became a minister so that she could help people, um, like me, people who would never go to a sex therapist. 'I have two elderly parishioners who have been married 50 years and never had an orgasm until she showed them how. She thinks that's a tragedy.

"The main thing Amy told me was that I should...tell you everything. That it might help you understand why I'm the way I am."

"And all of this took nearly a week?"

"There was a lot to talk about. "We would have a good excuse not to go into work in the morning. Settling back, I nodded at Laura and said, "Then why don't you tell me what you want to?"

Laura had also looked out the window and knew what I was thinking. Taking another long drink, she then put the glass down. She'd consumed two glasses of wine in less than twenty minutes, a first for her as far as I knew. When we'd met, she'd hardly ever drank and she never did when visiting her parents.

"One day we were sitting up in my bedroom. Amy started talking about boys, something she'd been doing more and more as we got older. We both had almost no experience with them since neither of our parents would ever consider allowing us to date. Naturally though, we were curious, but I was nothing like my cousin. That day, though, she had a magazine."

Laura actually was blushing as she related what had happened. She really was too much.

"What was the magazine?" I asked, although I thought I knew.

"It was filled with photos of people doing all sorts of...things. Men with women, and some of women with women.

"My parents had gone into town for the day, so although I was nervous, I didn't make her put it away. I think now she wouldn't have cared if we'd gotten caught."

"What did you think of the photos?"

"I thought they were disgusting, of course." Then Laura stopped and looked down at her lap. "But they were also interesting."

"So what happened?"

"One of the photos showed a women and she was touching herself, you know, between her legs. We looked at that one for a long time. She had such a dreamy, faraway expression on her face. Amy asked me if I'd ever done that."

"And you were shocked."

She nodded. "Very. I'd never even considered it. I was aware that if I rode my bike a certain way, I'd get this pleasurable sensation down there, but I never thought about it more than that. Anyway, I asked Amy if she had, and she got this big smile on her face. 'Yes! Several times since I got that magazine. You should try it, Laura. It's really amazing!'

"I told her I didn't think I should. It wasn't something proper people did, but she kept at me. Finally, she said that she wanted to do it even if I was going to be a stick in the mud. I left the room. Sitting on my brothers' bed, I was hoping she'd get the message and leave when I heard a moan come from my room. I thought something was wrong, so I went back to my room.

"Amy was lying there with her dress hiked up and her underwear off. She had her legs spread and pulled back and she was rubbing herself furiously.

"'So you do want to watch,' she sighed.

"'You groaned. I thought something was wrong.'

"'No, no. I groaned because I was getting close. Oh Laura, it feels so good, so good!'

"With that she had an orgasm, but I didn't know what it was at the time. About the only thing I knew about sex was that the baby came out of women's vaginas and that all boys were bad because they wanted to stick their things in there and make girls pregnant. I guess you think that's pretty pathetic."

I actually thought it was pretty sad, but I knew that Laura had been sent to a private religious school the elders of her church ran, and while they'd generally given the kids a good education, they'd obviously left out some rather important things. Did they honestly expect their students to live in a vacuum?

"This is very hard for you, isn't it?" I asked.

Laura nodded. "Amy said that I should tell you, so I am. She's very wise."

"Okay. Continue then."

"Amy straightened up her clothes and left shortly after. My bedroom smelled funny, a musky odor. So I threw open the window and tried to air it out. I thought it had come from Amy, but I wasn't sure. It...it excited me for some reason.

"I was curious at what I'd seen and thought about it the rest of the day. That night when I went to bed, I'd found that she'd left her magazine under my pillow. I remember being very angry because my mother might have found it and I knew there'd have been hell to pay if she had.

"But you looked at it, didn't you?"

Laura dropped her head and nodded, blushing furiously. I thought she looked enchanting.

"I hid under my covers and looked at it with a flashlight. I also tried doing what Amy had done in the afternoon. It felt sort of good, but nothing happened to me like it happened to her.

"The next day, Amy came over after her chores and asked if I'd looked at the magazine, and whether I'd tried playing with myself, as she put it. I admitted I had, but that it hadn't worked. I told her I thought there was something wrong with me.

"She laughed and said that as soon as the coast was clear, she'd show me what I was doing wrong. I gave her back the book, because I was scared it would be found...and...it made me think about bad things."

I nodded, feeling that I was finally beginning to understand my wife. Better late than never.

"First of all, my dear, they aren't 'bad things'. That's what I've been trying to tell you all these months. But I'm also curious: if you didn't know anything about sex, how did you know they were bad?"

"We'd always been told that nakedness was a sin, that the only time we should be naked was when we bathed. When I was very little, my mother caught me, you know, looking at myself down there and she spanked me very hard and said I should never, ever do that again."

I kept my face studiously blank, but it wasn't easy. "So what happened next?"

"I think it was five days later, our parents had to go into Madison. They'd be gone all day. Amy said she'd be over right after they left. I was really, really nervous, but also curious. I'd spent hours that one night looking at the photos in Amy's naughty magazine -- as she called it.

"We went up to my room as soon as she arrived. Amy had on a loose summer dress and I still had my PJs on. 'Now I think we should both take all our clothes off,' she said. I told her I couldn't do that. Shamelessly, she drew the dress up over her head. She'd come over with just the dress and her sneakers on. When she saw the expression on my face, she burst out laughing.

"You have to understand that Amy is a very beautiful woman, and the complete opposite of me. I'm tall; she's short. I'm blonde; her hair is almost black. I'm shy and she's anything but.

"'Look, Laura,' she said as I stood there gawping at her. You can't do this if you can't get at things. At least take your bottoms off.'

"I could see the sense in that, so I did. The top hid some of my nakedness, at least. She lay down on my bed and pulled her knees up. 'Have you ever looked at what you have down here?' she asked as she open herself up with one hand. 'This is the part you want to rub, but you have to be moist or it doesn't feel good.'

"'Moist?' I asked. 'Do you mean with water?'

"'No, silly! Something slippery, so your finger slides over the skin right here.' She touched herself, well, you know where, I suppose.

"She dipped into her opening and I noticed that it was wet. 'I use this. That's what it's there for, well, among other things.'

"'Where did you learn all this, and where did you get the magazine?' I asked.

"'From Billy's brother. He wanted to watch me do it, but I got scared and, well, I think he did, too. He told me I could keep the magazine if I promised not to tell anyone. You know what his dad's like.'

"'Looking at Amy lying there like that, I suddenly felt strange, sort of light-headed. My face was hot. She looked up at me. 'So, do you want to try it? I'll watch and give you pointers. Come on. Don't be a 'fraidy cat. It's fun and it feels REALLY good. I promise.'

"So I lay back on my pillows and she sat at the bottom of the bed. It was really weird lying there with my cousin looking at my bare bottom. I touched myself where she had and it tingled, but I wasn't wet down below.

"'You're just nervous,' Amy laughed. 'Try a little spit on your hand.'

"I did that and it did feel better, not so rough. But I WAS nervous, because I didn't get very wet. After a while, my mouth started getting dry, too, and it was harder to spit. Amy was sitting cross-legged facing me, and I could see that she was very wet. Reaching down, she scooped up some of it on her hands..."

Laura stopped talking. She still wouldn't look at me. Her eyes had been firmly downward the whole time.

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