tagNovels and NovellasBetter Ch. 16

Better Ch. 16


Chapter 16 - Michael

I thought I would have been better prepared having given myself 24 hours to have "the talk" with Kathy, but the truth was, I was more concerned that I hadn't heard from Andrea. It wasn't like her to not get back to me promptly or at least as soon as she could. If she was out all day for work or went out for the evening, I understood, but it had been almost 24 hours since I sent her the "urgent" text message, and the worst of my imagination was getting the best of me. If she was seriously sick or injured and I didn't know about it, then it was all the more reason I needed to move here.

That thought made me admit that I had fallen in love with Andrea more deeply than I thought, and here it was time for me to make things right by Kathy and our marriage.

I had barely seen Kathy at all since asked if there was someone else in my life at the kitchen table yesterday morning. I had spent most of the day of the day and slept the night in my study. She arranged for the kids to spend the weekend with their friends. I think she went out to dinner with friends last night. I really didn't know. It's easy to get lost in a big house.

For the time being, I knew I had to put my concern about Andrea aside and focus on patching things up with Kathy first. I thought I knew what to say to win her and her confidence back in a way that I didn't have to talk about Andrea or admit anything about Andrea.

"Kathy, my dear," I said with my hands stretched over the table as if I wanted to touch her from the other side. "When two people fall in love, it's the little things that bring them together -- a smile when they see each other, sharing in the victory of even the smallest of conquests, finding joy in the simplest things or in ways we never expected. We do things, we have things, and go places that most people only dream of, but that's gotten to be routine, ordinary and expected in our lives. We need to go back to that place before we had all that, before we had kids, before we got married, and before I even kissed you for the first time. You're a good woman, a beautiful woman, but we both need to stop treating each other like pieces of furniture."

She crossed her arms, glared at me, and said, "You're admitting that you are seeing someone and you're putting the blame on me by saying that I treat you like a piece of furniture?"

She had every right to be pissed. This wasn't going to be easy.

"I'm pleading nolo contendere," I said. "You don't need to know who she is or any of the details. It would be pointless and hurtful. What I'm saying is that I ... we ... need to make a fresh start in order to make things work and make things happy and better between us ... for both of us. Is that what you want?"

She didn't say a word, her glare never wavered, and she never uncrossed her arms until she went to the counter and picked up a thick manila envelope. The first things she tossed out on the table were copies of photographs of Andrea and I kissing next to her car at the airport, checking into the Townsend, walking into and out of the dress shop, feeding each other sips of champagne at the bar of the lobby of the hotel, walking into the theatre, and in the parking lot of the airport on our way to Chicago.

She sat while I looked at the photographs and then finally said, "Are you saying that nolo contendere means that you admit you're wrong but you aren't willing to say you're sorry?"

She didn't look hurt; she looked pissed, enraged, and rightfully so. I had to admit that it was smart of her to be sly to bring this information up in the way she did.

"My surveillance lost track of you at the airport, but I do have this ..." she said as she read off a list of credit card transactions from my personal credit card that until then I didn't think she knew I had.

"Five thousand, two hundred and ninety-two dollars at Ariada Boutique," she said, "Five hundred, twenty-one dollars at Bra-vo Intimates. One hundred forty-five dollars at Antonino Salon and Spa. One hundred twelve dollars at the Rugby Grille. One hundred sixty dollars for Metro Car. And that was just the first day of your latest escapade ...

"Hmm ... at least you managed to get cheap seats for a Cubs game. Went out for pizza, hit a couple of bars. You must have had quite a room at The Drake. And a purchase from noirleather.com?

"Let's see, over the past year, you've been to Detroit three other times and Napa, Cabo San Lucas and the Bahamas. And you actually bought her something from that lingerie shop we went to when we went to Paris for our anniversary?"

Her eyes turned red. Deep furrows chiseled into her forehead. She got up out of her chair, leaned over the table toward me and screamed, "You thought knowing the details would be pointless and hurtful?"

"I don't know what to say right now," I said.

"Obviously, you have a whole lot more to say than we need to get back to that place to before you kissed me for the first time," she screamed

"Look, we both know me saying 'I'm sorry' doesn't even begin to cut it ..." I started to say.

"You're sorry you got caught, and I bet you're even more sorry that you got caught this way," she interrupted.

"Kathy, you're right," I said. "On both counts. And I do apologize. You didn't deserve this. You've never done anything to deserve to have been betrayed in this way."

I got out my phone, pulled out the guilty credit card, and called the bank. I pressed the number for customer service.

"I'd like to pay off and cancel my account," I told the operator.

I gave the woman on the other end of the line the usual information -- account numbers, the expiration date, the security number on my card, and the last four digits of my Social Security number. She asked if I was sure I wanted to close the account. Absolutely. When I was done with the call, I walked over to the utility drawer, pulled out a pair of scissors, and cut the card in front of her.

Her body collapsed onto the table. The loud depth of her sobs filled the room. The only thing I could think of doing was to pick her up, hold her, and try to ease the shuddering and tension I felt in her body with the softest of touches. She started thrashing and punching me as soon as I touched her. I tried to restrain her arms and legs by holding them down in order to comfort her. I rocked her back and forth to calm her body and breathing. I only hoped that over her sobs that she heard me say, "Darling, I'm so sorry. Please let me find every way to make this up to you and make things better than they ever were before."

I must have held her and rocked her for an hour until she became completely still and fell asleep in my lap. I carried her into the great room and held her on the couch until she woke up a couple of hours later. As soon as she opened her eyes, I kissed her softly on her forehead and ran my fingers through her soft blonde hair. My eyes started welling up as I looked into her eyes.

"I love you more than you can know or feel right now," I said.

She still looked exhausted and weary, but beautiful in a vulnerable way.

"Did you mean what you said by finding every way to make up this up to me?" she asked. "To make things better?"

I brought her face up to mine, looked her in the eye, and said as convincingly as I could, "Yes. Absolutely yes."

I pressed my lips against hers tentatively, and then softly when I felt that she would allow me to kiss her. The same soft buzz I felt between our lips began to travel from my toes and through my fingers, and then up through my legs and up my arms. She let the tip of my tongue come through her lips to let me flick the tip of her tongue.

I slipped a shoe off one of her feet and slowly dragged a finger over the top of it and over her the back side of her calf to just behind her knee. I broke my kiss and asked her in a whisper, "Do you feel a buzz, a tingle running up your leg?"

"Uh ... huh," she whispered back, and sought another kiss from me.

I stretched out her arm and practically levitated it with two of my fingers that ran on the soft, thin underside of her arm from her wrist to her underarm.

"Isn't that the most incredible feeling in the world?" I asked.

She dropped her head back and sighed, "Oh, yes."

I laid her out across my lap, rested her head on a pillow, and told her to close her eyes. I took one finger and ran it under one limb at a time, around her hips, over her belly and sternum, up her neck, over her chin and up to her lips. I wanted her to lick my fingertip, but she wouldn't take it. I didn't want to push her. But I did notice that her hand was hovering over her T-shirt that covered her belly. It was the first time in all these years I had ever seen her touch herself like that. I lifted her shirt up just a bit so she could feel her own skin.

I leaned over to nibble on and whisper in her ear, "Now you know what I feel when I touch you like that."

"Mmm-hmm ..." she moaned.

I barely placed one of my hands over hers as she skimmed over the soft, fair skin of her belly. I wanted so badly for her to move farther up to her breast, but I wasn't going to push it.

"I wish I could clone myself right now, but I have to take care of some things," I said. "Will you promise to stay here like this until I come back?"

"Mmm-hmm ..." she purred.

I ran down the chiller and pulled out a bottle of Domaine Caneros that we picked up from the Valley, grabbed two glasses, and brought them up to our bathroom. I found whatever candles I could find and lit them even though it was the middle of the afternoon. I pulled my iPod speakers out of my office, picked up a favorite book, and lined up some of her favorite jazz crooners -- Astrud Gilberto, Nat King Cole, Dusty Springfield, Diana Krall -- and got the Jacuzzi filled.

Kathy was half asleep by the time I came to pick her up and carry her to our room. Her sleepy eyes popped open when I walked her into the bathroom.

"For you, my dear," I said as I lifted her shirt up over her head from behind her. "I can't undo the past, but I can spend the rest of my life making up for everything I've done wrong by making things right for you."

I slipped off the rest of her clothing, helped her step into the tub, and poured her a glass of wine.

"I'll join you only if you want me to," I said as I kissed her hand. "I want the rest of the day to be all about you."

She grabbed my hand with the one I kissed, ran her fingertips down the underside of my arm and across my chest to unfasten the buttons of my golf shirt, and circled her fingertips on the exposed skin of my chest. I really didn't know which way this could go.

"Do you remember how you seduced me to make love to you for the very first time?" she asked.

Twenty years ago. I was working on my MBA at Wharton. She was in her first year at Penn Law and rented a Victorian house off campus that had a claw-foot tub. I had always mentioned that I wanted to recite Shakespeare's love sonnets to her in that tub, but at least one of her three roommates were always around. I gave each of them $25 to go out for the night. I came over after the last one left the house. When she opened the door, I stood there with a dog-eared copy of Willie's best love poetry in one hand and a bottle of Korbel and a sack of strawberries in the other. We never made it to the tub, but we spent hours making love -- three different times -- and drank the wine from the bottle, ate the strawberries out of the bag, and read her poetry in the times in between.

I reached under the towels I placed on the sink countertop, pulled out that very same book, and said, "Does this look familiar?"

She got up out the tub and pulled off my shirt, dropped my pants to the floor, and walked me back onto our bed. The water from her wet flesh warmed and dissipated almost instantly on my burning hot flesh. I wanted to touch and feel her body all over like the way I did the very first time, but instead, she straddled me over my mouth and planted her hot, wet pussy on top of it.

"You did say this would be all about me today, didn't you?" she said.

This wasn't like her, at least not the old her.

I thrust my tongue deep inside of her and massaged her inner walls all the way around. She was getting wetter inside, but she wasn't quite there yet. I pulled her hands onto the headboard and pressed her ass back and forth until she got the point that riding my mouth was a good thing. As she picked up speed, I started to circle the pad of my forefinger around her clitoris softly and slowly at first, then harder and faster until I started to hear her moan. I gave her a sharp smack on the ass that let out a scream that I knew didn't exactly come from the surprise and the sting. I gave her another quick slap on the other cheek to let her know that she hadn't come as hard as she had thought.

"More, Michael! More!" she cried.

Smack! Smack! Both times harder than the first two. A torrent of her sweet, juicy cum drizzled down my throat and covered my face. Her stance remained suspended and intact and she sustained her cry until her body gave out and collapsed by my side.

I lay on my side and watched her until she recovered. When she became aware that I was watching her, she was startled to see me smiling.

"It's because you're beautiful," I said. "What you did was beautiful."

She pulled the sheet over her body almost to the point of covering her face.

I pulled the sheet away from her face, and said, "Honey, really. It's OK to let yourself go. I probably enjoyed you more than you enjoyed yourself."

She sat up, shook her head, and said, "Wow! I have never felt like that before. It was as if I was out of control."

I took her arms behind her back, held her hands onto the mattress, and said, "Who says you have to be in control?" before I got up to get my book and the bottle of wine.

I leaned down next to her and started to open a page. Kathy picked it up and flung it across the room.

I went into shock. I didn't know what to expect next.There was this weird calmness about her. I had a gut feeling that she was going to do something crazy like cut off my dick or go postal on me. She turned around and opened up the nightstand drawer. Was she going to pull a gun on me?

Instead, she pulled out a copy of "Fifty Shades of Grey."

"Tonight, my dear, we're starting over with a new book," she said with a wink.

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