I couldn’t remember the last time I was so fucking hungover. Bobby showed up in twenty minutes, as promised. He bitched about a cop ripping him a new asshole right before I blacked out from too many shots. I was grieving, it was allowed.
I promised Ginger I’d be up by ten so at nine-forty-five I was hopping in the shower. I made it as quick as possible. I dried off and found some basketball shorts and a tank top to throw on. Fucking punctual bitch was ringing the doorbell by the time I was done putting my deodorant on. She wasn’t a bitch; she really was helping me quite a bit. I just hoped like hell she didn’t know about the affair.
“Come on in,” I grumbled when I opened the door.
Ginger wisely offered me a very large cup of coffee before stepping into the house. She even whispered, “I brought you a Spanish omelet with extra potatoes.”
“Thanks.” I took a sip of my coffee. “Sorry, I feel like shit. Bobby got the cheap shit.”
“That’s how he likes his women. Should booze be any different?” she snorted.
“True,” I nodded. I wasn’t really into laughing just yet. “I’d offer you something but, well, you got what you needed on the way.” I closed the door and headed to the kitchen with Ginger right behind me.
“Maria told me once that the only pancakes you like have chocolate chips in them, so that’s what I got you instead of toast. I hope that’s okay,” she said as she started to unpack all the food she’d brought with her.
“Yeah, that’s fine,” I replied. It was hard to think about Maria telling people things like that given the reason I felt so bad. “Should I get silverware or did plastic stuff come with that?”
“Uh, I told them not to bother,” she replied quietly. “So yeah, we need silverware.”
I moved to the silverware drawer to get a set for each of us.
“What have you been up to other than tending to me?” I asked as I laid the silverware on the counter next to all the food. “How are you holding up?”
“I’m doing okay. I’m waiting for the first big thing to happen and I go to call her and then remember she’s not there anymore,” she said sadly. “I think that’s when it’ll really hit.”
“I can’t bring myself to believe it, you know?” I told her. “I uh… I got some news I wanted to ask you about.” I wasn’t going to show her the picture. Her face would give it away if she knew anything.
“Okay.” She handed me the container with my omelet and mountain of homefries with grilled onions. “I got you a side of guacamole, too.”
“Thanks. Did you know Maria had a boyfriend on the side?” I blurted.
“She what?” Ginger was a shitty actress and an even worse liar. That was how I knew the shock on her face was genuine. “No, Eric, there was no one else. I would have known if there was someone else.”
“There was,” I told her. “Apparently it had been going on over two years. His wife came over yesterday to confront mine. To say it was a shock would be an understatement.”
“Eric, I had no idea,” she told me. It was clear she was telling the truth. “That doesn’t sound like Maria at all. She’s never said anything that would make me think… she loved you. She loved you so much.” Poor Ginger’s eyes welled up. “She wouldn’t do that.”
“She did,” I said quietly. I moved around the counter and wrapped my arms around Ginger in a tight hug. She needed it just as much as I did. “I read all the letters and cards she wrote to him. There’s even a picture of them together.”
“Fuck,” she muttered. “I’m so sorry, Eric. I didn’t know.”
“Would you have told me?” I asked, rubbing her back.
Ginger looked up at me with those dark blue eyes of hers. She shook her head slowly for a moment but then said, “What’s wrong is wrong. I would have tried to get her to come clean first on her own but if she wouldn’t have told you, I would have. I know it’s not really any of my business but you’re a good man and you don’t deserve that–”
I stopped her rambling when I dipped my head to press my lips to hers. I didn’t know what came over me. I just knew I simultaneously loved and hated my wife. I wanted to hurt her the way she hurt me, I also needed to feel that connection with someone. Ginger was there for me.
I didn’t try to push further, but I didn’t pull away either. She was warm and soft. Her lips pursed against mine, kissing me back. In all the years I’d known Ginger I never once thought about kissing her or even looked at her as a prospect. She was my wife’s best friend. A wife I was a hundred percent devoted to.
She didn’t ask me why I kissed her and she didn’t push me away from her either. In fact, she seemed to understand exactly what was happening because she was the one to tug my shirt up over my head first. I lifted my arms so she could pull my shirt off all the way. I didn’t hesitate to reach down so I could unbutton her shorts. I pushed them down, hooking her panties on the way. My lips were fused with hers while she pushed my basketball shorts to the floor. I hadn’t touched or even looked at another naked woman in over eight years.
I couldn’t bring myself to look at her body when I stepped back to pull her shirt off. I just knew I needed to feel her soft skin on mine. Ginger tugged me over to the kitchen table and pushed me to sit down on one of the chairs. She straddled my lap and her lips met mine again while her hand wrapped around my cock to stroke me. Maria was a better kisser than Ginger.
I should have never learned that bit of information, but I did. I knew what was happening was solely about feeling… something. I pulled her hand off of my cock. My hands went to her hips to pull her closer, positioning her right above my erection.
“Are you clean?” Was the only thing I thought to ask. I wasn’t sure if it made a difference since I had apparently been fucking some dude and his wife by proxy.
“As a whistle,” she replied and lifted herself up just enough to let me slip into her. Ginger’s eyes went wide and then squeezed shut as her warmth enveloped me.
To keep myself from looking at her I tilted my head forward so I could place wet, open mouthed kisses along her neck. My hands slipped back to grab her ass so I could help her roll her hips. She felt good, but not right. My cock knew the difference. It was happy to get the friction, but it was a struggle to stay hard. Her pussy was a warm, wet placeholder. It should have been Maria’s, but given the fact that she was cheating, I didn’t think I would have fucked her anyway.
The noises she was making were all wrong but that was part of what made them right in that moment. Ginger pressed herself against me and began to rise and fall quickly. She lifted my head and kissed me again. Too much tongue but those differences from my wife were what I needed right then too, in some strange way.
I didn’t want to learn anything that she liked. I wanted to get off. I wasn’t a selfish lover either so when her pussy clenched or she made a specific noise I made the move again. After a few minutes of her bouncing on my dick I hooked her legs and stood up, making her yelp. I laid Ginger out on the table, pushing her legs back so she was practically folded in half and I began to drive into her heated depths. My hips were moving at a punishing pace, but she didn’t seem to mind.
“Right there! Right there!” Ginger cried out. Her walls clamped down hard and her hands flew up to grab the other end of the table so she wouldn’t slide too far away from me.
I growled as I arched my back so I could take her nipple between my teeth. I tugged the stiff peak, groaning around her soft flesh. I needed to feel her orgasm.
“Cum. Hard,” I commanded in a deep growl around her nipple, swiveling my hips on each deep, hard thrust.
Ginger did as she was told. Her body tensed up and then began to shake with the force of her orgasm. Her fingernails dug into my back while her walls milked my shaft for my orgasm.
“Good girl. Where do you want it?” I panted when I felt my balls tightening.
“I don’t care,” she panted.
I sat up, looking down at her pale body for the first time. None of it looked right to me. Don’t get me wrong, Ginger had a beautiful body. Her tits were on the smaller side, tipped with small, light pink nipples. Her flat stomach flared out to good child bearing hips. She shaved… all of it. But again, it wasn’t the right body.
All the same, I drove into her a few more times before I pulled out and stroked my slick shaft until I came all over her smooth mound. I watched her pussy convulse as my cum dribbled down her slit to her back entrance. All that did was make me want to ask her if I could take her in the ass. She seemed like the kind of girl that liked it. I didn’t, though. I just stared at her trembling, sweaty body as I tried to catch my breath.
“Maria was a fucking idiot,” she panted.
“She loved him,” I shrugged.
“That doesn’t make what she did okay, Eric.” Ginger sat up. She looked at me with sympathy. “She was my best friend but I kind of hate her right now.”
“That makes two of us,” I sighed. “I can’t figure out what went wrong.” We rarely fought. I thought we were happy.
“I don’t know. I wish I did. She truly never told me anything about what she was doing. I know I’m not the sharpest knife in the block but I’m no rusty razor either. I should have known.”
“Yeah, I should have too. Sorry for all this,” I said, waving between us. “I shouldn’t have started it.”
“So I’m not going to be the next Mrs. Northman?” At first I thought she was serious and then she started to laugh. “Eric, don’t worry about it. I get it. I know this was just… a thing. Under other circumstances, we wouldn’t have. I’m not a rusty razor, remember?”
“I remember,” I replied with a soft smile. With her sitting there naked, covered in my cum my cock started to come back to life. “We should clean up.” I motioned to my cock twitching.
“Yeah, we probably should,” she agreed, but made no moves to do so.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” I asked, reaching down to rub my cum into her clit. I had already fucked her. We were still naked, why not?
“Because the only way I want you to clean up is by putting your cock in my mouth and that’s probably not a good idea,” she said in a breathy voice.
“This is about killing the pain, right?” I said, sliding my middle finger into her wet core. “About feeling something other than all that hurt and betrayal.”
Ginger moaned and lay back on the table.
“Then bring your cock over here,” she told me and opened her mouth.
“Maybe that’s not the hole I want to put it in,” I told her as I walked around the table to offer her my cock. My shaft was still shiny with her juices.
She took as much of me in her mouth as she could and slowly released me again, licking away her cum in the process.
“What did you have in mind?” The look in her eyes told me she already knew.
I wanted something Maria refused to give me. I pumped my finger in and out of her pussy a few times before I pulled out to rub her back entrance.
“Do you like to be fucked here?” I started to apply pressure.
Ginger moaned and nodded. “I haven’t ever had someone your size there.”
“Do you want to feel my big dick deep in your ass?” My fingertip popped into her and I continued the slow pumping.
“Only if you pull my hair and call me dirty names while you do it,” she replied.
“Mmm, Ginger, I didn’t know you liked being a dirty little whore,” I smirked.
“You never asked.” Her thin lips wrapped around the head of my cock and she sucked hard for a few seconds. When she released me again her hand wrapped around my shaft while her mouth went to work on my balls.
“I never had a reason to.” I moved so I could pull her leg back, opening her up a little more. I pulled my finger out and gave her clit a light smack.
She yelped and moaned almost simultaneously with my right nut in her mouth. Ginger released my sac and took my cock in her mouth again. She grabbed my hips to push and pull me so I was fucking her face.
I was still hungover as fuck, and I knew this… whatever we were doing wouldn’t go past the day, but I was grieving over my wife fucking another man, a lot. I could spend the day treating her best friend like a filthy whore. I hoped Maria was in hell watching the whole fucking thing.
“I think I’m going to go to Alcide’s grave by myself today if you don’t mind,” I told Jackson on the one month anniversary of my husband’s death. I was still struggling with the knowledge that he had been cheating on me for two years and I was trying my best not to say anything to Jackson.
“That’s fine. I don’t mind staying with Willa.”
“I was also thinking that it’s time for Willa and me to get back on our feet just the two of us,” I told him. “You know I appreciate you being here and I can’t even begin to thank you enough for everything–”
“Sookie, stop. It’s okay. I’ve been where you are. I understand what you’re going through. I get it. Don’t feel bad for sending me home,” he chuckled. “You girls are going to do just fine without me.”
I smiled and said, “I just don’t want you to think I don’t appreciate everything because I do.”
Even though your son was a lying, cheating son of a bitch may he rot in hell the filthy whore.
“I know you do,” he replied.
“I was also thinking that we could maybe work out a regular visitation schedule for you,” I suggested. I didn’t have to do it and I could tell he wasn’t expecting me to suggest such a thing. “Willa adores you and I know how much you love spending time with her so it just makes sense. Plus I don’t want you thinking that just because Alcide’s gone you’re going to lose her.”
“I don’t know what to say,” he said. “I would love that. She reminds me so much of him.”
“I know she does. I think you’re a good influence for her and I know you remind her of Alcide. I know she’s not going to remember him but… well, if she can’t remember her dad, remembering her Papa is a pretty good consolation prize,” I said.
“I know you don’t want to think about it, but one day you may meet another man. He just may fall in love with you girls and take on the daddy role. I would also appreciate you keeping me included if and when that happens,” he requested.
“Anyone that falls in love with me is going to have to love her too. That’s non-negotiable,” I assured him. “And of course you’ll always be included. You’ve been a father figure to me, too, Jackson. I’m not going to forget that.”
“I just needed to get that out there. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately. You’re a good catch and any schmuck you meet has to get through the Herveaux seal of approval.”
“I’ll make sure I prep him properly,” I laughed and then leaned over to hug Jackson. “You’re a good catch too, you know. You could find a lady friend…”
“I might,” he chuckled as he hugged me back. “I’m going to have all this free time. I’m going to need to find a way to fill it.”
George came into the kitchen, sniffing along the floor. It dawned on me that it was oddly quiet.
“I should go check on the munchkin. It’s too quiet and George isn’t standing guard,” I said.
“Alright. I’m going to go start packing my clothes.”
I let go of Jackson and got up to let George outside. He was good about sticking close to the house. George was about as friendly and docile as a dog could get. I closed the door behind him and then headed upstairs to look for my daughter. I found her curled up in her little princess tent Uncle Jase got her for her first birthday. She liked to ‘read’ her books in there. I was glad she liked books as much as she did. Every night before bed she got to pick two. I would read one and Papa would read one since Alcide wasn’t there to do it anymore. That way she got to say goodnight to us both and get in all the hugs and kisses she could stand before we left her for the night. I grabbed her blanket off her little toddler bed and knelt down to cover her with it.
Unable to help myself, I pulled my phone from my back pocket and aimed it at my sleeping baby. I knew the day would come far too soon when naps would be a thing of the past and snuggling with mommy would be the last thing she wanted. I wanted to enjoy little moments while I still could. It was tempting to pick her up and let her sleep in my arms, but she was just fine where she was, so I let her be.
I got up and went down the hall to my room. There was a stack of flannel shirts folded in the corner that I was going to be sending to a friend of my mother’s who could turn the shirts into patches and then into a quilt for Willa. She wouldn’t appreciate it now but she might in a few years when she was old enough to ask questions about her dad and start to get to know him through stories, videos we’d taken and the memories of people who knew them best. I just hoped that by then I worked through enough of my anger that I didn’t let it taint the things I told her because Willa didn’t need to know that her father had cheated.
Maybe if I knew why he did it I could make my peace with it. There was certainly no changing it. That blemish was always going to taint our marriage. I used to think I could never forgive any kind of cheating. Even a one night deal was cause for dismissal. It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I would have preferred a one nighter. With this Maria woman it seemed like he was living a double life. In her letters she talked about the two of them moving away together.
She wrote about moving to Florida or San Diego where it was almost always warm and sunny. Alcide hated the heat. He loved the change of seasons and it was because of that, that we had been married on a beautiful spring day when flowers were just coming into bloom. We used to take long walks together and he had proposed to me on our favorite nearby trail on a fall day when the leaves were changing. It was true that tastes changed and maybe his desire to live at the beach was another thing he his from me but I needed to believe that not everything between us was a lie.
I needed to believe that some of the things he told his mistress was just to keep her coming back. I needed to believe that he needed her to believe that someday he would leave me, that they would run away together like a pair of star crossed lovers.
Her death had made the news.
It wasn’t every day a person drove their car off the road and into a tree on purpose.
Maria-Starr Northman was thirty-years-old the day she died. She was an emergency room nurse at St. Catherine’s Community Hospital. For the last seven years she had been married to Eric Northman, a novelist who was being touted as the next Stephen King. It was unknown why she had taken her life, but her autopsy report showed she hadn’t suffered the types of injuries one would expect from someone trying to avoid a crash. She had been found without a seatbelt on the crash investigation team found that her airbags had been manually disabled. There were no skid marks suggesting she had swerved to miss wildlife or an oncoming vehicle.
No, Maria had driven off the road at a high rate of speed on purpose. That was the conclusion that law enforcement had reached. It was tragic and didn’t make sense to those who knew her.
Except I had a motive.
She was distraught over the death of her lover.
That selfish twat killed herself for him.
Clearly she was nuts. Only someone with legitimate mental health problems would do such a thing. I loved my husband but even without a child to take care of, I wouldn’t end my life out of some morbid sense of devotion to him.
The whole thing made me so angry I could hardly see straight.
I went to the bathroom to shower and then I got dressed. A plan was forming in my mind. Instead of putting on my usual yoga pants or leggings, I pulled a dress from my closet. It was off-white and Alcide had once told me I looked like an angel in it. I left my hair down and found a pair of sparkly pumps that added to the angelic look he had enjoyed so much. I put on the necklace he gave me for our fifth anniversary and the earrings he had given me as a wedding present.
“You look beautiful, sweetheart,” Jackson said when he caught me in the hall on my way to check on Willa.
“Oh, thanks,” I smiled. It was the first time I’d put any effort into my appearance since the funeral.
“You look like an angel,” he told me.
“That’s what Al used to say.”
“He was right. You take your time. Willa and I will be fine here. I might take her to go see that new Pixar movie,” he said.
“She’ll love that,” I nodded. I peeked in the room and Willa was still conked out. I kissed Jackson’s cheek and then went downstairs to get in the car.
I stood over my husband’s grave and stared at the words his father and I had chosen to have engraved on the headstone. Cherished husband, dedicated father, beloved son… Cheating asshole.
“Why did you do it, huh? I keep asking myself why. Was it because of me? Because I was too tired to fuck you after chasing our daughter and the dog all day while cleaning the house, cooking meals, running errands and whatever else I had to do, is that all it was? Not enough sex? Or maybe you didn’t love me anymore?” My eyes welled with angry tears as I continued, “Were you tired of the responsibility? Did you regret the weight of a wife and child around your neck? Was I boring you? Were you just being selfish? I hate that I’m never going to know. I don’t think you have any idea how painful this is.
“I never thought I would hate you, Alcide. I’ve been in love with you since we were kids. I’ve loved you in one way or another more years than I haven’t. That love created that beautiful baby girl and it kills me to think that maybe it was all a lie. All those moments between the two of you that made me fall in love with you all over again could have meant nothing to you. That’s the worst part of all this. I’ll never give Willa a reason to doubt that you were head over heels in love with her, but I’m always going to wonder in my own heart.
“I’m questioning everything and I’m protecting your secret because the people who loved you don’t deserve to have to live with this. Your dad would be destroyed by this. Either you didn’t think of that or you didn’t care. I’m so angry with you, Alcide. I feel… violently angry. I need a physical outlet for it. Kick boxing would probably be good but I don’t think it would satisfy me.
“I don’t know where you are now. For your mother’s sake I hope God had mercy on you but I’m angry enough that part of me hopes you’re roasting in hell with your whore. Maybe you loved her because she was willing to die for you. If that’s the test of true love I guess I failed because I’m not that type. Or maybe you were never supposed to be my always. I don’t know. I’m so lost right now.
“The only thing I know is that I look damn good. Thanks to the stress I’m down ten pounds and my tits haven’t looked this perky in years. I’m wearing the angel dress and fuck me shoes. So I’m going to go find myself an escape from all this bullshit for a few hours and if it includes multiple orgasms, that’s even better.” I thought about saying goodbye but I knew I would be back.
I wiped the tears off my cheeks and when I got to the car I used one of my wet naps to clean off my face before I started to apply my makeup. I lined my eyes and put on some shimmering eye shadow. Brown mascara brought out the green flecks in my eyes and stained my lips with a rosy pink stain that tasted like pink lemonade. After fluffing up my hair a little bit I started the car and drove out of the cemetery.
There was a bar called Gilroy’s on the outskirts of town that made the best piña colada in the county, if not the state. If I couldn’t be on a tropical island somewhere for real, I could at least drink like I was.
The parking lot was mostly empty, but seeing as it wasn’t even lunchtime yet, that wasn’t very surprising. I walked inside and headed straight to the bar. A redheaded bartender was drying glasses as I approached.
“What can I get you?” he asked me. He was dressed in an Alice Cooper T-shirt and had Celtic tattoos on his arms.
“A piña colada would be good, thanks.” I took a seat at the bar.
Not that Al and I never drank, but we preferred to do it at home. There was no need to yell over a crowd and we didn’t have to worry about how we would get home afterwards. Plus we liked having company. Before Willa was born we used to have people over all the time. We had a fire pit out back and a good sized deck. Alcide loved cooking out on the grill and we both just loved being out in the fresh air. It was so much more appealing to us than sitting in some sad, dingy bar.
Music started to play from the jukebox to my left and I looked over to see a very tall man standing over it. I didn’t immediately recognize the artist but when the vocals started I was positive it was REO Speedwagon the guy had picked. It was a little peppy for my current mood but it wasn’t like I could hit a mute button.
Live every moment – love every day. ‘Cus before you know it your precious time slips away. Live every moment – love every day. ‘Cause if you don’t you might just throw your love away.
It was a nice message but at the moment it just made me want to throw my shoe at the guy who picked it.