The Strength a Costume Brings


She glanced over and smiled shyly at his family, before lowering her gaze. Shame filled her face as Chad tucked her against him.

Once Seanna was settled in the car, he took charge and got behind the wheel. Silence filled the interior and he struggled internally with allowing her the space she needed and offering to be her sounding board.

They pulled into their neighborhood and down their street before Seanna chose to speak. "You've been his neighbor for years. Was he always like that, before we got married?"

Chad took a deep breath. "He dated women, sure."

"You know that's not what I meant."

"Yeah, I know. But this isn't something we should be talking about," Chad admitted.

"It's okay. I figure I already know your answer. He's had a lot of women before me, hasn't he."

Again he refused to answer.

"And while he's been married to me, too -- hasn't he?" she asked. Her voice had taken on a monotone effect, the emotion was dead much like the love in her heart. "I wonder why he married me."

"Is that a question?"

Seanna smirked. "Only if you know the answer."

Chad pulled her car into the drive, pressed the garage door button and waited for the door to lift. He parked and turned off the vehicle, before answering her. "Seanna, I'm not going to lie to you. Jefferson's an ass. When I found out he was getting married, I thought the same thing --- why? He never kept a woman more than a few months and even those he moved in he wasn't faithful too. Then I saw you and, well --- hell, I figured out real quick why he settled down."

She lifted a brow, laughed and opened her car door. "Yeah, the girl from the farm -- she's one hot fuck."

He could tell by the sound of her voice that she was only mocking him. He grumbled something inaudible before exiting the vehicle. Together they walked up the sidewalk, and across the back porch. Her keys were given back to her, and she thanked him. "Want to come in?" Seanna asked.

Chad's mind exploded into a thousand different scenarios. They ranged from pushing the little housewife against a wall to stripping her right there in the moonlight. Instead he took a deep breath and passed on her offer.

"Seanna," he said as he turned away, "Jefferson's an idiot. Are you going to be okay?"

She shook her head and closed the door behind her leaving him alone.

Seanna walked to the bathroom, removed her make-up and stared at her reflection. Her costume displayed her assets in a way that she had never seen them. Images of the two women her husband had chosen for the night assailed her, along with those of the women at the bar. All of them seemed to radiate the self-esteem she seemed to lack.

Timidly she ran her hands over her body, trying to feel what made her so unappealing to her spouse. Her breasts were round, full and rested high on her chest. Her stomach wasn't flat like the office girl's. She turned sideways and judged her body, questioning her value.

"Stop it."

Seanna spun around, squeaking at the interrupting voice.

"You're perfect," Chad said. "And you forgot to lock the door."

He stepped into the room, closing the distance between them. He held her gaze, while lifting his hand to caress her cheek. "Don't doubt yourself. Please."

Her throat moved as the lump that had formed there was forcefully swallowed. She blinked several times as tears threatened to spill. A soft sigh slipped past Chad's lips before he brought his mouth down onto hers.

Seanna leaned into the kiss. Her lips parting almost as if they belonged to another. Wet lashes rested on her blushing cheeks, while colors danced behind her closed eyes. Chad's hands moved up her arms, around her back and down to slide across her hips.

Pulling away he took a deep breath and stepped back. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have..."

"No, it's okay," she whispered. "That was my plan," she admitted.

His brow furrowed in confusion. "Your plan?"

She nodded her head. "I left the house with every intention of having sex with someone other than my husband, after all he was doing it."

"Oh, I see."

Immediately she sensed the change in him. "But," she said, pulling at his arm when he moved to turn away, "I couldn't go through with it. I went to his work, waited outside and saw him coming out with some women. I figured he was heading home, but then I followed him to the bar. I couldn't bring myself to go inside, not until I saw the costume shop. I got dressed up, hoping to hide behind make-up and this get up ---," she motioned to her clothes, "it's very out of my element."

"It's a nice element."

She smiled softly. "When I looked at myself I saw me and was sure he would recognize me too, but he didn't. But you did -- why is that? I've been married to the man for five years."

Chad shrugged his shoulders. "I guess he never saw you," he sadly admitted. "Seanna, I'm going to head back to my house. You have my number if you need me and if Jefferson --- well, if you need me just call."

Seanna let him leave then. His words weighed heavy on her heart as she walked around her home. The pictures of her and her husband spoke of a happily-ever-after existence. The truth of it hit her, just as Jefferson walked into the kitchen. Her face paled when his footsteps landed solidly against the floor. Her gaze met his when he rounded the corner.

Still wearing her costume Seanna greeted her husband. His eyes grew wide in their sockets; his jaw fell open and whatever excuses he had prepared seemed to be lodged deep within his chest.

"Welcome home," Seanna whispered, before walking past him and into the night. She said nothing as she made her way across the yard, and down the path that would take her to her neighbor's home. He saw her coming, opened the door for her and closed it to the gaping mouth that belonged to Jefferson, who looked shocked and humiliated as he watched his wife walk through his neighbor's door.

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