Chapter 4: Best Laid Plans
I pull into the Waffle House parking lot at 10:37. I’m early. I have no idea what Sookie looks like so I go into the restaurant to get a table and some coffee. A white-haired waitress in her late sixties or early seventies comes by with a coffee pot in each hand.
“Regular or decaf, hun?” she asks in a raspy voice that suggests a pack a day habit for the last fifty years.
“Regular,” I reply. “I’m meeting someone so I’ll wait to order.”
The waitress, Pearl, pours my coffee and then goes to check on her other tables. Only four are occupied, in addition to three older gentlemen sitting at the counter. It’s quiet in the restaurant and Conway Twitty is playing on the radio. I him along while I drink my coffee.
Twenty minutes and a full cup of coffee go by before a crappy yellow hatchback turns into the lot. The car jerks to a stop and a curvy blonde with Pam Anderson tits and a J. Lo booty gets out of the car. Of course Bill found someone twenty years younger.
I can only imagine what she sees in him. I’m guessing it has a lot to do with his money. I feel like a mob wife. Sookie’s car might be a piece of shit, but her clothes aren’t. She’s wearing a long white skirt with a melon colored print. Her thin top is white and by the spaghetti straps and the way her perky tits bounce, I’m sure she not wearing a bra and those suckers are real.
Her eyes are hidden behind her designer sunglasses. She spots me though and walks toward me. I can tell she’s nervous. I probably would be too if I was her.
“Caroline?” she says nervously as she approaches.
I nod and gesture for her to sit. She takes off her glasses once she’s seated. Even without much makeup she’s beautiful.
“I can see why my husband picked you,” I say.
“Thanks?” She places her purse on the bench next to her. “I’m really sorry, if I’d known he was–”
“Stop. Like I told you, you’re not the first. If you would have said no he would have picked someone else,” I tell her.
“I’m still sorry,” she sighs. “What is this about? What would you like to know?” she asks, sitting back a little more.
“I’d like to know why you fell for him,” I reply. “One look at you and I have no idea what you were doing with a man old enough to be your father. Did he tell you that our oldest child is almost twenty-four? You can’t be much older than that.”
“I’m about to turn twenty-six,” she confirms. “I don’t know, the first time I met Bill was almost three years ago. I was working as a stripper and strung out on drugs. I was in a shitty abusive relationship… well, nothing happened then. I ran into him again about two months ago and we ended up talking for hours. It’s not so much his physical appearance I was attracted to but he’s kind and given the types of relationships I was used to… he was just… different. Kind… He charmed me,” she finishes with a small smile.
“I suppose the money wasn’t a factor at all.”
“I never asked Bill for a thing. Anything he bought for me was on his terms. I’ve even tried turning things down,” she tells me. “I liked him, not his money.”
Pearl comes back with her coffee pots.
“Coffee, hun?” she asks Sookie.
“Um… just water please,” she answers. She looks almost pained to say that.
“Okie dokie,” Pearl says. She refills my mug before lumbering off.
“Give up coffee for lent?” I’d rather shoot myself in the kidneys.
“Not quite,” she pouts. “It’s for different reasons.”
I’m not going to pry into her life. It’s not my business. Pearl comes back with Sookie’s water a moment later.
“Are you ready to order?”
“I am.” I look to Sookie to see if she is. I don’t know if she’s planning on eating.
“May I have some dry wheat toast?” she asks Pearl.
“Sure,” she nods. I’m sure she doesn’t get that request very often. “For you, hun?”
“Can I get the bacon patty melt with smothered and covered hash browns?”
“You bet. You want the toast when her meal’s up?”
“That’s fine,” she nods.
Pearl nods too and walks away.
“Dry toast, huh? Getting over a stomach bug?” I can’t help asking.
“Something like that,” she smiles softly.
I know that look.
“You’re pregnant,” I blurt out. At least I know it’s not Bill’s. He got snipped while I was pregnant with Lee.
“According to the home test I took, yes,” she confirms. “You’re only the second person to know.”
“You’re telling your married lover’s wife ahead of your mother? That explains the stripping and cocaine addiction.”
“No, the stripping and coke are explained away by a lifetime of abuse with no family at all. My mother and father died before I was two and the only living family I had left passed away when I was eight. If you want to judge me, I suggest you get the full picture first,” she says matter of factly.
I take a deep breath, swallow my pride and apologize. “That had to be difficult. I think it also makes what I’m prepared to offer you that much sweeter.” I reach into my purse for the envelope with ten grand in it and give it to Sookie. “That’s just a down payment if you’re on board. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of Bill getting away with the way he treats women. I don’t want him to have the chance to do it again.”
Sookie peeks into the envelope. Her eyes go wide before she slides it back in my direction.
“What exactly would you like my help with, Mrs. Compton?” she asks.
“What do you know about my husband’s health?” I ask instead of answering her.
“I know he broke an ankle when he was a teenager so he has a slight limp now, other than that as far as I know he’s perfectly healthy,” she says. “Maybe a little out of shape but that’s to be expected for a man his age.”
I have to restrain a laugh since he supposedly works out every morning before work.
“Good. All I want you to do is keep seeing him like you have. When the time is right, you’ll give him Viagra–”
“I’m not sleeping with him. I can’t,” she states firmly. “He’s a disgusting excuse for a human being as far as I’m concerned.”
“Well then we have nothing else to say to each other.” I’m not going to keep talking if she’s just going to turn this down. I’ll figure something else out. I’m sure I can find a woman who will lure Bill out and take care of this problem.
Her eyes flick to the envelope and back to me. “What if… what if I found a way without… the sex part?”
“Why give him Viagra and then not sleep with him?” I counter. “And before you ask, it has to be Viagra for a reason but I’d rather keep you in the dark for your own safety,” I tell her.
Pearl comes with my sandwich and Sookie’s sad toast.
“It feels wrong. I’m carrying someone else’s baby… If I agree, I can find a way. Bill and I talk a lot, I can give it to him in a drink or something and then… I wouldn’t feel right, but I could start something but not finish it… unless he needs to finish…”
“Sookie, you can’t crush a Viagra. It’s a time release kind of thing. If you crush it he gets the full dose all at once and it won’t look like he just popped a pill to impress his younger lover,” I explain. I’ve done my research.
“Then how would you suggest I do it?”
“Well that was the point of things not changing between the two of you,” I sigh.
“I haven’t talked to him so he doesn’t know I know about you,” she tells me.
“Oh I know, or he’d be groveling and pleading with me not to file for divorce,” I reply. Bill might be arrogant and uncaring but he’s not stupid. “I did some checking into our finances since Bill handles most of that. Net worth we’re talking twenty million plus.”
“What are you offering me? I mean, the baby’s father isn’t really talking to me at the moment, but like I said, it feels wrong. If I wasn’t pregnant and… it just has to be worth my time.”
“I’m open to negotiating. The first number to come to mind is a quarter of a million,” I tell her and her eyes go wide as saucers.
She quickly schools her features and says, “Try again.”
“I said I was open to negotiations. I didn’t say I was giving away the farm,” I tell her. She’s been boning a married guy for two months. I’ve put up with his shit for twenty-five years. I’m asking her to take a risk but I know I can find someone to do it for much less than what I’m offering her right now.
“Half million,” she counters.
It’s a steep counter, considering the bulk of the figure I mentioned is tied up in the company. For the kind of risk she’d be taking, I don’t blame her.
“You realize that I can’t just cut you a check, right? The IRS might ask some questions if you’re suddenly sitting on that kind of money,” I point out.
“I’m aware of that,” she nods, her eyes glancing down to her stomach. “You’re asking me to do something that goes against everything I believe in. If I do this I need to make sure my… That’s my price.”
“I don’t blame you for wanting it to be worth your while. Believe me, this isn’t generally the way I deal with the parasites in my life. Come to think of it, he’s the only parasite in my life. My husband should be the one person that I can trust with absolutely anything. I should be able to show him the ugliest parts of me and know that he’ll still be there for me. I used to think him cheating on me was the worst thing that could happen. Now I know the worst thing is that we could stay together, trapped in a marriage that has been a lie for more than a decade,” I tell her. I reach for the pepper shaker and shake a bunch onto my potatoes.
“I’m sorry he’s been unfaithful. I’ve been cheated on in the past. I know it’s not with the same severity as Bill’s cheating, but it hurt just the same.” She picks up her toast to take a few nibbles.
“Cheating is cheating. Whether you’re married or not, fucking someone else while in a committed relationship is inexcusable. He has his weak reasons for doing it. You’ll have your reasons for cheating on the father of your child. I’m done being his victim instead of his wife,” I reply.
“I’m not saying I’m doing this for sure just yet. If you don’t mind I would like to think on it overnight. If I can’t bring myself to do it I’ll call you in the morning and cancel my plans with Bill. I promise I won’t even mention that I met you.”
“That’s fine. Think it over.” I’m not going to push her into saying yes right this second.
“Thank you,” she says. She takes another nibble of her toast, but it’s obvious she isn’t feeling well.
“I threw up no less than six times a day for forty-one weeks with my middle child. I swear the morning sickness started at conception with Tommy,” I say.
“I hope that doesn’t happen to me,” she sighs. “It just started yesterday and it’s been manageable. I’m just worried about work tonight. I have my first doctor’s appointment tomorrow morning.”
“Good luck. It’s a myth that Saltines will cure your nausea. You’ll have better luck with ginger tea if it doesn’t clear up on its own. I wasn’t sick at all with Sarah.” That was the easiest pregnancy. She suckered me into thinking they would all be that easy.
“I don’t know what to expect. My only source of info is the internet and that’s useless,” she chuckles.
“Nah, it’s great for scaring the shit out of you,” I reply with a smile. “Expect your ankles to swell to the size of grapefruits, your hands to retain more water than you thought possible and for heartburn to keep up through most of the third trimester if teeny hands and feet using your internal organs for target practice isn’t already doing the job.”
“Lovely,” Sookie smiles. “It’s all worth it, right?”
“Some days more than others,” I answer honestly. “You’ll also question why you ever thought keeping the baby was a good idea and contemplate running away for good.”
“Thanks for the honesty. I doubt I’ll ever get it from anyone else.”
“Then you’re not surrounding yourself with the right people. I learned that the hard way.”
“Right now I try not to surround myself with very many people. I barely talk to the girls at work and other than that it was Eric and Bill,” she tells me. “I don’t like very many people now that I’m sober.”
“People aren’t all bad,” I shrug and take a bite of my sandwich. I’m sure she doesn’t see it that way given the life she’s had.
“The people I’ve come across are. I don’t want to bother you with my life but I’ve managed to attract one bad apple after another,” she says. “It’s easier this way.”
“It’s also pretty damn lonely,” I comment, even though she didn’t ask for my advice.
In some strange way I see my daughter when I look at her. I can see the tragedy of her past in her eyes. There’s something missing in them. There’s a lingering sadness. It’s a shame. I genuinely hope that her baby can help fill whatever void is still there. Everyone deserves a happy ending.
Caroline isn’t as scary as I thought she’d be. I appreciate the candidness of our conversation. She’s what I always wished for in a mother. It’s too bad we met under these circumstances. I highly doubt we’ll talk much after today, which also makes me a little sad. That could be the pregnancy hormones too.
“So, where am I supposed to get the Viagra if I agree?” I’m going to need more details.
“Me. I’ll take care of that,” she replies.
“Okay. Is the reaction supposed to happen if he takes it or does he have to have an orgasm?” I take a bigger bite of my toast.
“I don’t know. The more excited he gets, the better chance we’ll have that it’ll work.”
I nod. If I agree I don’t know how the hell I’m going to go through with this. It doesn’t feel right taking someone’s life, but what she’s offering can give me and my baby something to live on. Or I can set up a college fund. I don’t know what’s going on with Eric. I’m sure once the baby gets closer to arrival he’ll come back around. Until then, I’m left in a weird spot. At the same time I work with single mothers that seem to do alright. I’m sure they had different upbringings, but I’m sure I’ll do okay. If anything, I know what I don’t want my child to live through.
Out of the blue another idea pops into my head. Bill Compton isn’t as bad as some of the men I’ve been with, but he’s still scum and I don’t want to sleep with him if I can help it.
“What if I gave him the pill and then brought in another girl to fuck him. I know two or three girls I work with that would do it just because they’re gold diggers.”
“That’s up to you,” she says. “Just consider the trail.”
“Yeah…” Ginger is so strung out she wouldn’t think twice, and probably wouldn’t remember it later. I could give her fifty bucks and she’d just go drink it or snort it. “How would we do the money transfer later?”
“Until we know the investigation is closed, I don’t think any money should change hands. Most of the amount I mentioned is tied up in the business, but the insurance payouts will cover the amount you’re asking for.”
“I understand that,” I nod. “I also assume you and I won’t really talk after today until the investigation is over.”
“We’ll meet again sometime. The number I called you from is for a disposable cell phone,” she says.
“Should I invest one of those too?” I’ve never been part of a murder plot, so I don’t know.
“I think you can afford it.” She pushes the envelope toward me again. “Ten grand. In small bills.”
I pull it to my side of the table and say, “I’ll hold onto this until I make my final decision. If I can’t go through with it I’ll give all of it back.”
“Honestly, I don’t care if you do. It’s Bill’s money. I’m sure you’ve earned it,” she snickers.
I’m mildly offended by that. I didn’t go into the relationship with Bill for his money. I know she’ll never believe that, but that’s her problem. I tuck the money in my purse and finish my toast.
“I know it really doesn’t matter to you, but I liked Bill as a person. If he never bought me one thing I still would’ve spent time with him.”
“Sookie, I’ve been sharing a bed with him for twenty-five years. I know what he’s lacking. That’s all I meant,” she clarifies.
“Oh… okay,” I smile. “You know, as dirty as it sounds… nevermind, you don’t want to know.” There were a few nights after Bill I would go home and shower and then go see Eric to finish what Bill couldn’t.
“If you were going to tell me you get off with him, I’m leaving,” she says.
“No,” I snort. “Maaaaybe once.”
“At least he’s leaving all of us unsatisfied,” she snorts.
“Isn’t it wrong to talk about a man’s shortcomings with his wife?” I chuckle.
Caroline shrugs and takes another bite of her sandwich. She doesn’t seem too concerned about Bill’s feelings.
As we sit I start to think more about what she’s asking me to do. She has to be pretty fed up and desperate to ask me to do this for her. I’ve been in a lot of bad situations and wished a lot of people dead, but never once have I tried to kill them or talk someone else into killing them. Ultimately, if I do this it’ll be for the money. I don’t care about Bill enough to be bothered if he’s no longer around. This will give me the opportunity to give my baby the life I never had. I don’t know Eric will be there for the baby. I have to believe he will, but I want to be able to provide something for the baby too. Something more than love. I want to be able to send my child to college, something I never even allowed myself to dream of.
“You’re absolutely positive you want me to do this?”
“I’m positive that I want him out of my life. I’m positive that I don’t want him to be able to continuously disappoint our children until the end of time. If I could think of any other way to accomplish this, I would.”
“Are you in love with him still?”
“No. Truth be told, I haven’t been for years,” she answers.
“Okay.” I figured that would be her answer but I had to be sure. I glance down at my phone and see the time. I can afford to call out sick tonight, but I shouldn’t. If I agree, which it’s likely I will, I don’t want to do anything suspicious. “As it stands now, I agree.” A half million dollars is a lot to pass up.
“You can let me know for sure tomorrow,” she says.
“Thanks. I should get going if I’m going to make it to work on time.”
“Okay. It was nice to meet you.”
“You as well,” I smile. I pull out five dollars and set it on the table for my toast and a tip. “See you around,” I say as I stand up.
I walk out of the restaurant with ten grand in my purse and possibly the promise to kill a man with sex. I don’t know how I should feel about this. It’s nothing I ever thought I would do, but it seems to be happening. It doesn’t feel real.
That night I’m sitting in the backroom at work when I check my phone and I see a text message from Bill. I look down at my phone to see what Bill sent and cringe.
Bill: I can’t wait to see you. Just thinking of you has me hard.
I roll my eyes.
Me: I can’t wait either 🙂
I get up and walk out back where Danielle is smoking. None of the dancers are out on the floor yet, so we have a little time to hang out and relax before we start work. I feel my phone buzz so I check it again to see Bill’s reply.
Ugh. It’s a picture of his cock.
Me: You know you shouldn’t send me that kind of stuff while I’m at work.
Or ever. I promptly delete it.
Me: I’m trying to set up a sexy surprise for you but none of the girls are free 😦
Bill: Too bad. He misses you, sweetheart.
Me: Tomorrow :*
I want to throw my phone in the trash. It feels contaminated from getting messages from the asshole.
Bill: Are you free right now? I miss your voice…
Me: I have a moment. Not too much time though.
“Hello?” I answer, turning away from the group.
“Hi, princess,” he purrs. I can hear him stroking himself. Eww.
“Mmm, hi, Bill,” I respond. “Sounds like you’re having a good time without me.” It makes me want to puke more than the baby hormones do.
“Not as good as if you were riding me right now,” he grunts.
I move a little farther from the girls.
“Are you trying to initiate phone sex, Bill Compton?” I say with a smile in my voice.
“Very much so,” he answers. “Haven’t you missed all the things I do to make you moan and writhe?”
“If course I do. I’m at work though. I couldn’t possibly tell you that I look forward to turning around and riding your big dick so you can watch my ass as I bounce.” I think I just puked in my mouth a little.
“Naughty girl,” he groans. “Will you let me cum on your face, Sookie?”
“You know I’ll be your dirty girl,” I whisper.
He gasps and the stroking sound speeds up.
“Ugh… Fuuuuck… Tell me you’re wet for me, princess,” he begs.
“Of course I am. My panties are so wet right now… I may have to throw them out,” I purr.
“Oh God… Fuckfuckfuck,” he grunts and then I hear that spasmy-groaning thing he does when he cums. I honestly don’t know what I ever saw in him.
“Was that good, baby?” I ask.
“Not as good as the real thing. I’m going to fuck you so hard tomorrow, princess,” he warns. Good luck with that.
“Bill, how would you like it if I was able to find another girl to join us sometime?” I ask. I want to feel out the situation for when the time comes. If I can’t bring myself to fuck him, I need someone that will.
“Are you serious?”
“Depends. Would you like to see me with another girl’s face in my pussy?”
“Mmm… Definitely,” he answers.
“I’ll to try to make that happen sometime. You’ve been so good to me,” I purr.
“Will you go down on her while I fuck you?”
“If that’s what you want,” I agree.
“Do I get to fuck you in the ass finally?”
“Mmm, I think we’ll save that for next time.” That’s never going to happen. Ever.
“I can wait.” I can hear the smile in his voice.
“Good boy,” I say. “I should let you go so I can get to work.” And you can get back to your wife.
“I’ll see you tomorrow, princess. I hope you’re ready for me.”
“I will be.” I hang up with that, I can’t stand to be on the phone with him anymore. Especially knowing Caroline is probably in the other room.
I go back inside and put my things in my locker. The more I talk to Bill, the more disgusted I am with him, making this decision way easier. He’s a lying scumbag. The lie he told me is nothing compared to the bullshit he’s been telling his wife. What sucks is having to wait until I get the pill from Caroline. I want to be rid of him now.