The Trouble With Emily Ch. 04byMiltone©
Emily's birthday came along a few weeks after the engagement party. On the night before while everyone else was asleep, Mitchell stayed up late to decorate the house with a banner and balloons. Knowing that Emily was the first one up in the morning, he propped up a couple of very conspicuous presents and a card for her to discover.
Before dashing off to work and school, Mitchell and the kids wished and sang her a happy birthday, and Emily showed off her patented glowing happy smile and there were even a few happy tears. She opened her presents eagerly in front of the kids, a beautiful white satin robe and slippers that Kelly had picked out for her, a couple of music CDs courtesy of Timothy, and the latest novel from her favorite author from Mitchell. Emily exclaimed that they were the best birthday presents ever. Then she hugged Mitchell again, a nice warm friendly hug that lingered. She had rested her head on his shoulder and clung to him so tightly that they nearly melded together.
"Thank you," she had said. "Thank you so much. You guys are really like a second family to me."
He could feel the warmth and wetness of her tears melt though the stiff linen of his shirt. But they both quickly recovered. She had a ton of things to do and the kids had to get off to school. But as they broke away, Emily looked at him unlike she had ever looked at him before. It was as though she was seeing him for the first time and he felt embarrassed and looked away and excused himself to finish getting ready for work.
When Mitchell arrived home from work a little earlier than usual, Emily was upstairs getting ready to go out with Brian. He could hear her humming happily in that silly off-tune voice of hers behind the closed door of her bedroom. He went to change, but she apparently heard him in the hallway and her door swung open.
"Mitch? I need an opinion," Emily stated, her voice rife with indecision. "A guy's opinion."
"Oh?" he sighed uneasily, looking around and realizing that obviously he was the only guy within a hundred yards of the sound of her voice. He cleared his throat. "You want my opinion?"
"You're a guy. So, yeah, you'll do."
"So, um ... what's up?"
"Which looks best? This? Or this?"
Emily stood at the door of her bedroom, dressed only in a black satin thong, thigh high stockings, and heels. She held up a little black dress against her body, actually little more than a slip, made from a light silky fabric with a pair of tiny spaghetti straps and a back that swooped dangerously low. In her other hand, still on the hangers, she held a bow necked white knit top and a plaid pleated skirt that would ride low on her hips and end far above her knees. In the available moment, Mitchell imagined her in both outfits. His mouth watered. His pulse raced. His palms sweated. She would look fantastic in either; classically elegant in the former, fabulously hip in the latter, and incredibly sexy in either. But this moment demanded a judgment call and he dispensed with all logic and went with his gut feeling.
"You'd look great in both outfits, Emmie, but to be honest, for this occasion-and he is taking you to the Fox and Hounds tonight, right-I'd go with the little black dress."
"He is taking me to the Fox and Hounds, but are you sure?" With that she raised up the skirted outfit and lowered the little black dress somehow exposing as little of her gorgeous body as possible although there was plenty available from which his thirsty eyes could drink.
"Well, what are we trying to say here?" Mitchell asked. "A hot and sexy, take me, right here and right now, or a coolly elegant, spend your money, take your chances but it will be more than worth it in the end?"
"Hmm," Emily hummed. She turned and looked at her reflection in the tall mirror beside her dresser, holding up one outfit then the other. As she did so, he was afforded delicious side views of the lush lean curves of her breasts and hips. Then she held up the little silk black dress. "I think I'll go with elegance."
"Good choice, mademoiselle."
She laughed girlishly and sexily and Mitchell had to fight off those familiar lush warm feelings of enchantment. He was over her, wasn't he? There was certainly nothing wrong in finding her attractive, after all she was a pretty and sexy girl and most any guy would have been attracted to her. But she belonged to someone else and he wouldn't let her innocent beauty play games with his feelings.
Later when Brian had arrived and she waltzed down the stairs, he had to admit that his breath was taken away. She looked like a fantasy come true, her face aglow in an eternal grin, the dress clinging to her every curve, her young firm breasts surging up from the black silk and jiggling ever so enticingly, and her legs in the sheer black stockings, long and shapely, kicking down each step. He looked at Brian and noted the casual blasé smile and wondered if this guy truly realized what he had in Emily. He hoped so for her sake.
Then they were off. He remembered standing at the doorway waving, watching as they slipped into Brian's car and motored away in his infernal foreign machine. He thought of being that young again, of having his entire adult life yet to unfold before him. He remembered how he had been that age himself with everything to live for and without a single care in the world. Oh, those were the days! His life had changed with kids and a career and a house to care for now, but he wasn't sad because he had had his good times and now it was time for hers.
It was shortly before midnight when Emily came home, much earlier than Mitchell expected. He had anticipated that she might not be back till morning. Mitch was sitting in the family room reading, but had heard Brian's German iron pull up, music blaring loudly. The engine hadn't stopped running when the car door opened and shut forcefully and the car sped off.
The front door opened with a rush and Emily ran up the stairs to her room. Puzzled, Mitchell waited a few minutes expecting her to come down and say hello, but she didn't. He knocked back the last of his bourbon and went upstairs. He ended up standing outside her bedroom upstairs hearing the faint sounds of Emily sobbing.
"Emmie? Are you okay?"
There was no immediate answer so he rapped lightly on her door.
"Emily? You all right?"
"No! Go away," she cried out, her voice thick and heavy with tears.
"What's wrong, Emily? Emily? Are you okay?"
She didn't answer but her sobs grew softer.
"All right, but if you want to talk, I'll be downstairs for a while."
Mitchell went back downstairs, his mind racing over the possibilities. Of all that his fanciful mind could conjure, there was one that emerged, big and ugly. It must be something with Brian and their engagement.
It was a while later when Mitchell heard footsteps on the stairway. He looked up to see Emily descending slowly, her new white satin robe snugged tightly around her waist. She went straight to the kitchen and opened the liquor cabinet.
"What's that stuff that you drink all the time that tastes like medicine?" she sniffled.
"Yeah, that's it," she said, looking for and pulling out the half gallon of Jim Beam and filling a glass.
Emily took a sip then a long healthy drink. By this time, Mitchell was up and moving toward her. She glanced over at him, her eyes were reddened and damp with tears. What little makeup she had been wearing was smeared. Mitchell moved up beside her and put his arm around her waist. She leaned toward him and laid her head heavily against her shoulder.
"What happened, honey?"
Emily turned toward him and fell into his paternal embrace. She began to sob again and Mitchell simply held her and let her cry, her warm tears streaming down and wetting his shirt.
"Brian ... he's ... he's ... I'm ... oh, fuck, Mitch ... I don't know where to start."
Emily crushed her face into his chest and Mitchell held her tenderly as the tears continued to roll.
"You don't have to say a thing, Emmie," Mitchell said softly as his hand brushed the back of her head, through her silky chestnut red curls. Her arms had looped around him, clinging to him with an urgent desperation. He ran his hands tenderly up and down her back feeling the warmth of her body underneath the satin robe and nothing else.
It could have been a half hour before either of them moved. Emily sniffed and lifted her head from Mitchell's chest and looked up at him with her tear-stained eyes that were a fragile gray, not the sparkling blue-green that he was used to seeing.
Emily backed away and lifted her bourbon for another drink. She grabbed for a tissue and began to daub at her eyes. Silently she stepped down into the family room and slumped into the middle of the couch. Mitchell sat on the end beside her.
"Are you all right, Emmie?" he asked, reaching out to caress her cheek. His thumb moved over her soft plush skin, wiping at the traces of her tears.
"I'm all messed up, Mitch," she sobbed, her shoulders shaking. "I don't know what to do, or where to start."
She looked at him again, her eyes filled as much with pain as with tears. Emily took his hand and pressed it to one cheek then the other. Then she kissed it.
"You don't have to say a thing, Emmie," Mitchell said.
"I ... I'd better spill it out ... I have to tell someone," she said tearfully.
"Take your time. We have all night," Mitchell remarked.
It took her a while to gain her composure, but Emily eventually took a deep breath and began to speak. As her words unfolded, it seemed that the tears began to dry up.
"Brian took me to the Fox and Hounds-that place is so beautiful. My birthday, a romantic, elegant restaurant, my guy-my fiancé. Everything was so beautiful. Then before we order dessert he tells me that he has something to say, something that had been bothering him for a while, something that I should know before we get married ..."
Emily's voice trembled and then trailed off for a moment. She daubed at her eyes again. She took another healthy swig of bourbon.
"God, this stuff is nasty," she said with a shiver.
"But it's good medicine," Mitchell replied.
"And I really need some good medicine," she said. Her back straightened up. "Brian looks at me with that silly grin of his and says that he has a confession to make, that he's not really bi after all, that he's really gay." Emily looked directly at Mitchell's eyes. "After all these years, he's finally discovered his true nature, that he's out and out gay."
"Whoa! That's a helluva way to wish your girlfriend happy birthday! So what about the wedding?"
"He proposed that we go through with it, sort of like a business proposition, and why not, since we have made all the arrangements."
"But what about after the wedding?"
"Brian says that we can go ahead like we've always planned, find a nice place together, settle into married life, throw dinner parties, travel, everything we've talked about ... except that he wants to be free to spend time with his boyfriends and go off and find some dicks to suck when he feels like it."
"Jesus! Get married so you can date someone else. What about you?"
"Oh, he said that I could go out with someone else, and if I ever found someone that I would rather be with then we could divorce."
"Unbelieveable! So he wants you and everything that comes with you, but he wants to be free to do whatever else he wants. Jesus! I feel so sorry for you. What about kids and all? You've talked about wanting to have children."
"So you had no idea he was gay?"
"I thought he was bi. I didn't mind if he went with guys once in a while. But getting married meant giving that up and he didn't want to."
"What about diseases? What about AIDS? What about you? Gee, it sounds pretty god-damned selfish of him." The more he thought about it, the madder Mitchell became. "Didn't you have any idea that he was gay? You've known him for a long time."
"Guess I didn't want to believe it. He was the first guy I was ever with. We broke up a few times and I'd date other guys but would always seem to end up back with him."
"I find it hard to believe you didn't suspect something."
"Okay, maybe he did really like blow jobs a little more than most guys, and maybe in some way I suspected something, but I'm a very trusting person. I loved being with him. On holidays when my family would be over at our house to celebrate and things got pretty boring, we'd go up to my room and have sex. I never really thought about it ... until now."
"I'm sorry that you have to go through this, Emmie. I'm really sorry."
"Don't be. I got myself into this. I'll figure something out."
"So what about the wedding?"
"I don't know. I haven't thought about that yet. And oh, shit! I've got to go over to my folks tomorrow. What'll I do?"
"You're not thinking of going through with it, are you?"
"I don't know. Maybe. Who knows, maybe it could work out." The look on Emily's face grew sad.
"It's just that I feel so betrayed," Emily said struggling to fight off a tear. "All these years he told me how much he loved me. And now, tonight, he says that he really didn't mean it. I don't know what to do, Mitch."
Mitchell reached out to her and encircled her with his arms and she fell heavily against him.
"It'll be all right, Emmie. You'll figure something out don't worry. To blue skies and brighter tomorrows."
He hoisted his glass and she held hers up and they clinked them together and drank the last of their bourbon. Then Emily set her glass down on the coffee table and looked at him appealingly.
"Hold me, Mitch," she requested in a soft weak voice just a breath away from a sob. "Hold me and don't let me go."
Mitchell wrapped his arms around her and cradled her head against his chest. As she leaned toward him, he lay back against the cushions at the end of the couch and she lay on top of him. She sobbed once again and then her tears stopped. Mitchell bent down to kiss the top of her head, drawing in her natural scent and that of her perfume.
They ended up falling asleep together on the couch. When Mitchell awoke in the middle of the night, they had shifted slightly on the couch. His legs were stretched out across the seat cushions and Emily was curled up on top of him. As they had shifted in their sleep, her robe had fallen open and he felt the lush curve of her bare breast press into his palm, its taut nipple rubbing against his hand.
When he lifted his head, Mitchell could see that she was sound asleep. His thumb and fingers moved gently against the soft skin of her firm breast. Emily sighed and shifted position, thrusting her breast more firmly into his hand. He knew that his body wanted the taste of hers, but this moment was so thoroughly inappropriate. He held her gently and tried to purge his prurient thoughts.
Mitchell slowly retrieved his hand from her breast and the ensuing draft stirred Emily. She lifted her head sleepily and immediately noticed her dishabille. She straddled his hips and pushed up to sit atop him while she fixed her robe. Emily looked down at him and smiled.
"Guess we fell asleep," she said in a near whisper as she drew the white satin over the full swell of her breasts and cinched up the belt. "Sorry, 'bout that, Mitch. Didn't intend to give you a little show."
"S'okay. I was sleeping anyway."
Emily bent down and kissed him on the cheek, then climbed up from the couch.
"It's late. We should both go to bed," Emily said and Mitchell nodded in sleepy agreement. They walked up the stairs together and paused at the top. "Thanks for being there for me, Mitch. You're a good man."
Mitchell smiled and watched as Emily padded down the hall to her room. Then he turned around and went to his own room. It didn't take long for him to fall sound asleep.
* * *
The next several days were obviously difficult for Emily. After leaving to spend the remainder of the weekend with her family and friends, she returned Sunday evening and seemed to throw herself into her work and studies. No detail around the house was overlooked. After dinner one evening, Mitchell saw her standing at the sink washing dishes. At first he didn't give it a second thought, but then he noticed her shoulders quiver sharply and her head bend forward. She sniffled when he approached.
"You okay, Emmie?" he asked.
"I'm good," she answered, raising up her head proudly. "I'm all right."
Mitchell stood behind her. He could tell that everything was not all right and wanted to do something. He eased up closely behind her and slipped his hands around her waist, deliberately trying to touch her in a comforting, friendly and non-sexual way. As he held her gently, he felt Emily lean back against him, her head sort of leaning up beside his, her arms folded over on top of his around her waist, and her back and butt pressing firmly against his body. Mitchell could tell that her body was wound up so tightly that she was trembling.
It may have been a minute, it may have been ten that they remained like this, but Mitchell didn't want to let her go. Soon enough the trembling stopped, but the tightness in her body remained. Mitchell slowly eased his hands from under hers and drew them around to her back. As he moved them up along her back, Emily leaned forward and rested her hands on the edge of the sink. Mitchell worked his hands up over her taut stiff flesh to her shoulders. Emily tilted her head forward as his hands began to move in soft gentle but insistent circles.
"Gees, there's a big knot right here," Mitchell said, circling his fingers around the base of her neck.
"Oh, god, that feels so good, Mitch, please don't stop," Emily pleaded, arching her back and pushing against his hands, surrendering to the pressure of his palms and fingers.
Mitchell didn't stop until he felt every muscle of her back relax. He ran his hands over her back, massaging and caressing her warm supple body through the soft fabric of her top. A few times, Emily moaned, but otherwise they were silent as he plied her flesh from waist to shoulders and back again. When he was satisfied that her tenseness was relieved and his job was finished, Mitchell embraced her from behind, his arms wound safely around her waist, his face nestled beside hers, their bodies pressed together snuggly and warmly.
"This feels really nice, Mitch," Emily whispered. "I'm not sure that I could make it through this time without someone like you."
"Thanks, Emmie," Mitchell replied. "Just let me know if there's anything else I can do."
"I will, Mitch. I will," she said, turning to face him. "Maybe it takes someone who knows pain and loss to really understand. I mean that I know what I'm going through is no where near what you did when your wife died, but just knowing that you're around and that you care means so much to me."
"I'm glad to help, Emmie," Mitchell remarked. "Everyone's life is so different and unique, but I know that I couldn't have gotten through without the help of some very good friends."
"Any of them as good at massages as you are?"
"Well," Mitchell remarked chuckling. "My buddies aren't exactly the type to give out massages, if you know what I mean."
"Then I'm very lucky that I have you," Emily replied, leaning up to kiss his cheek lightly.
Emily turned back to the sink to finish washing the dishes while Mitchell poured a glass of wine and headed toward the door leading out to the deck. As he stepped through into the cool late summer air, her could hear Emily humming an off-key tune and felt as if things were returning to normal.
* * *
A few days later, Mitchell was in his home office sorting through the pile of snapshots from the past year. He had managed to arrange them chronologically and was in the process of fitting them into a photo album. He was amazed at how the kids had grown, how much older and mature Kelly seemed to be despite her seventeen years, how tall and rangy Timothy was becoming.