Chapter 9: Why Can’t We Be Friends?
There’s been something different about Bill since he’s gotten back from Mississippi. I can’t put my finger on what he’s hiding, but he’s been nicer to me than he has been in years. He’s bringing me gifts and attempting to be romantic. Bill hasn’t been romantic since our first honeymoon, and even then it was obvious that romance just wasn’t his strong suit.
While I’m cutting up veggies for stir fry, Bill comes in with yet another bouquet of flowers. Hydrangeas, this time.
“Bill, what are these for?” I ask with a smile. I love hydrangeas.
“Flowers, sweetheart, or have you forgotten what they are?” he says as he kisses my cheek.
“I know what they are, but what are they for?” His hearing must be going.
“Does there have to be a reason?”
“There usually is with you.”
“Not this time. They’re simply because I love you,” he says and wraps his arms around me in a loose hug.
Uh huh. He loves me so much he’s running off to Mississippi to fuck another woman every chance he gets.
“I love you too,” I reply and hug him back. Mentally I start counting down until he mentions sex because he’s been more interested in me that way than he has been in more than a decade.
“Good,” he smiles. “We don’t say it enough. I’m trying to show you I’m a good husband.”
“Why would I think you’re not?” I kiss his cheek. I can think of plenty of reasons but I want to hear his thoughts.
“I’ve been a little distant lately, and I don’t want you to think I’ve reverted back to my old ways.” He reaches up to tuck my hair behind my ear.
“Well you know I love hydrangeas. Thank you.” I give him another kiss. I’ve become numb to it. Any “affection” passing between us is mechanical on my end. It’s just an automated response to his advances to keep myself from spilling my secrets. I have a few of my own, after all.
“You’re welcome.” He lets me go, taking a step back before he adds, “It’s not set in stone but I may have to make a quick overnight trip to Jackson before our long weekend.”
“Oh?” I turn around to keep slicing peppers.
“Yeah, just a dinner meeting with a client,” he lies. I can tell by the way he talks a little faster.
“Must be an important one,” I say.
“Very high profile. It’s the kind of meeting one doesn’t turn down,” he tells me.
“The Governor again?”
“Yes,” he confirms.
Uh huh. I’ll bet.
“So you’ll be going to New Orleans then?”
“Uhhh… he’s going to be in Jackson for another meeting so I’m just going to fly there instead,” he lies again, this time not so smoothly.
“You’re having a business dinner with the governor of Louisiana in Mississippi?” I ask incredulously.
“Yes. Politicians meet all the time. Governor Burrell is going to be in Mississippi for the week. I’ll be meeting him on his last night there if I can,” he tries to explain.
“If you can?” What the fuck was that?
“That’s why I said it’s not set in stone yet. His secretary said he shouldn’t have anything that night, so I’m trying to schedule a meeting,” he says, digging himself a deeper hole.
“Actually, that’s not what you said.” I throw my apron at him and storm toward the doorway. “You said it was a meeting you couldn’t turn down! You can take your flowers and fuck off!” I yell as I head for the stairs.
“Darling, I said it’s not set in stone, but if I can get it, I’m not turning it down,” he says as he comes rushing after me. “I won’t go, it would be important for me, but if it upsets you so much I won’t do it.”
“Whatever, Bill. Go to Jackson, have your meeting. I don’t care!” I jerk my arm away when he tries to grab me. Even if he is telling the truth, I don’t believe him. I have zero reasons to trust him.
“I won’t go. Not if it means you don’t trust me. I’m not that Bill anymore, I’ve changed, Caroline.”
“Oh yeah? Then why do I get the feeling that you’re lying to me? I’ve been in this position before, Bill. I’m not stupid.” I slam the bedroom door behind me, but he’s never been very quick on the uptake when it comes to backing off.
He bursts through the door and says, “What do I have to do to make you believe me? I’ve been completely truthful and faithful to you since my heart attack.”
“Then get the governor on the phone right now. Confirm your meeting,” I challenge. “I know his number is in your phone. He called on our anniversary.”
“I said it’s not a confirmed meeting yet, Caroline. I might not even go, I was just telling you in case it turns out he will be able to meet with me,” he explains.
“You’re lying! Call him. Put it on speaker.” I know he won’t do it.
“I’m not going to bother him while he’s at home with his family. We aren’t that close.”
“But you’re close enough to have his personal phone number and not just his office number?” I know he’s not going to crack and admit what he’s doing but I don’t mind driving his blood pressure a little higher. Let him sweat.
“Plenty of people have his personal number. I’m not going to call him and tell him my wife is being a jealous… that my wife is jealous and accusing me of lying. The governor doesn’t need to be brought into our affairs and I’m sure you don’t want to be embarrassed by your insecurity.”
“I’m sure you don’t want to be embarrassed by your history of cheating on me with women roughly the same age as your own daughter being publicly exposed!” I yell back.
“You’re acting crazy!” he yells back. “I haven’t even looked at another woman sexually in over six years!”
“Well since we’ve been married for twenty-five, I guess you deserve a prize!”
“We’ve been over this. I thought you forgave me, but I guess not since you’re throwing it in my face now!”
“Forgiving doesn’t mean I forgot! I learned from last time. You don’t bring me presents for no reason. You never have. Now you’re bringing me flowers and jewelry talking about getting an apartment in Mississippi and random dinner meetings with the governor of Louisiana while he’s in Mississippi. I’m not stupid, Bill. This is all building up to something.”
“I’ve been bringing you flowers and jewelry because I’ve been slacking on showing you what you mean to me. The only thing this is building up to is a stint in the looney bin,” he growls and turns to leave.
“Yeah because you’re driving me crazy!” I yell after him. Right now I could kill him myself.
I go to the closet and get a suitcase. I need to be somewhere else for the night. I grab my the Viagra and other phone from its shoebox, and put it in the suitcase along with two day’s worth of clothing. The smoke alarm goes off downstairs but Bill can deal with it. Right now I need to be away from him before I screw everything up.
I carry the bag downstairs and go to the crawl space under the stairs. With the shadow box out of the way I get the safe open while Bill deals with the smoke alarm. Nothing has been messed with since I last opened the safe. I grab more cash and then close the safe. I put the shadow box back and stuff the cash into my purse.
It’s a lovely night for a drive to Jackson.
Bill’s trying to wave smoke out the windows when I walk past him to the door.
“Where are you going?” he calls after me.
“Away!” I yell back.
“You’re insane, Caroline!”
“You’re a lying asshole, William!” I stop short when I see my son standing by his truck, looking confused.
“Is everything okay?” Lee asks as he heads toward me.
“No, it’s not.” I’m not going to lie to him.
“No, your mother has lost her goddamn mind,” Bill supplies as he starts to follow me out of the house.
“I need a few days by myself,” I say calmly to Lee because this isn’t his fault and I’m not going to make this his problem.
“Oookay,” he replies, looking back and forth between Bill and me.
Bill huffs behind me before I hear the door slam.
I step forward to give him a kiss on his cheek and I can tell he’s curious about what happened.
“Your father says he may have a dinner meeting with Governor Burrell in Mississippi next week,” I tell him.
“And you don’t believe him,” Lee states.
“I believe your father has been bringing me presents to throw me off. You know he only does that for anniversaries or my birthday. Something doesn’t smell right to me.” I’ve always been honest with my kids. I didn’t shield them from Bill’s infidelity. He had to explain it to them and deal with the consequences of their anger.
“Dad knows you would get suspicious if he started bringing you gifts to cover up an affair. You don’t think he really just wants to do something nice for you?” he asks, looking a little upset.
“No, I really don’t,” I admit. It’s hard to not tell him I already know I’m right. “So I need a few days to think about things. I’ll let you know where I am.”
“Alright. Be careful,” he says and reaches out to hug me.
“I love you,” I tell him. I squeeze him tightly and kiss his cheek again before pulling back.
Because he’s a good boy with good manners, he takes my suitcase and walks me to my SUV. He puts the bag in my backseat for me and opens my door. Lee watches me back away from the house and head up the driveway to the road. I see Bill standing on the front porch, talking on his phone, before I turn left. I have a pretty good idea of who he’s got on the line.
The drive to Jackson only takes about two hours. I’ll call Sookie when I get to the state line. It’s time I drop off the pills. The sooner we’re all free of Bill Compton, the better.
I’m just coming out of the bathroom when my phone rings. Eric is in the kitchen making dinner, I’m not that great of a cook, and he glances at my phone to see who it is. The look he gives me tells me it’s Caroline. I don’t have her in my phone as Caroline, but he knows her code name.
“Hello?” I answer as I walk up behind him to wrap my arm around his waist.
“I’m in Mississippi. Bill and I had a fight,” she says. “I have the pills.”
Oh… this is about to get very real.
I pull away from Eric and say, “I’m about to eat a snack. Do you want me to meet you somewhere when I’m done?” Her coming to my house would be a stupid idea.
“Is there a Sonic near you?”
“Uh, yeah, there’s one on West McDowell,” I reply, earning a weird look from Eric. “Are you sure a chain restaurant is the best idea? Cameras…”
“Then you pick a place. I’m not from around here,” she snaps at me.
I let her attitude go, knowing she just got in a fight with Bill, most likely over his infidelity.
“There’s an old abandoned church parking lot at the other end of McDowell on Woodbine. That area doesn’t get much traffic, but enough that it won’t look suspicious since the parking lot is used for the park across the street,” I explain. “I can be there in forty-five minutes.”
“I’ll be there.”
“Okay.” I hang up and look at Eric. “She’s in town. She has the pills.” I start to shake a little just thinking about what I’m planning to do.
“And you’re going to meet her for the drop?”
I nod. I don’t want to do this, but again, a half million is really hard to pass up. Especially when I think about what it can do for the baby.
“I’m scared,” I admit.
“I don’t blame you. Are you positive this isn’t a trap? I mean you were fucking her husband. How do you know this isn’t all a scam?” Eric points out.
“I’ve thought about that. I feel pretty confident she’s not just trying to set me up. She wouldn’t even tell me why it has to be Viagra in case I’m interrogated afterward,” I explain. “She’s fed up. I’ve felt how she feels, albeit for a different reason, but I’ve felt it. It sucks.”
“I just don’t want this to blow up in your face,” he explains. “I trust you, though.”
I wrap my arms around him for a tight hug. “For some strange reason, I trust her,” I say quietly. That’s a strange feeling.
“As long as you’re sure.”
“I can always back out when the time comes.” I kiss the center of his chest. I know he’s worried and I am too. This should be done and over with in less than two weeks, depending on when Bill is coming back to Jackson.
“Dinner is just about ready,” Eric says. “Do you want sesame seeds on top of the chicken?” He’s making orange chicken from scratch.
“No thanks,” I sigh. I kiss his chest one more time before I step back. “The baby is anti-sesame.”
“She better not be anti-orange chicken because this is my favorite thing and the best thing I make,” he tells me. Eric takes the lid off the homemade fried rice he made to go with it.
“It’s a she, huh?” I grin. “Well, she loves the smell of dinner and is ready to eat.”
“Good.” Eric kisses my cheek and hands me a bowl so I can dish up.
I don’t get much. I’ve never really eaten a lot. Plus, my nerves are starting to get to me. Bill is essentially an innocent man. He’s never done anything that deserves murder, but at the same time, the kind of betrayal he’s become so good at makes me sick to my stomach. I can only imagine what twenty-five years of that would do to someone. I don’t blame Caroline for wanting him dead. Especially if I tell her he offered to make an honest woman of me.
We eat in silence and as soon as I’m done I get up to wash my bowl. I can feel Eric’s eyes on me while I move around the kitchen. I know he doesn’t approve of what I’m doing, mostly because I’ll be having sex with another man. I’m going to try to avoid that at all costs. I don’t know how I’m going to do that just yet, but I hope to think of something. My original plan for a three-way is still sitting at the back of my mind but the less people involved the better.
“I’ll be right back,” I sigh as I dry my hands. “I’ll do the rest of the dinner dishes when I get home.”
“I’ll be here.” Eric pulls me into a hug and kisses me.
“Thank you,” I whisper. “Thanks for being so understanding.” He could’ve easily turned me in or threatened to turn me in.
“Love makes people do crazy things, right?”
“I’m starting to see that,” I say with a half smile. I can’t wait to be in love with Eric.
“If you’re lucky I’ll be naked when you get back,” he winks.
That makes me groan. I smile and stand on my toes to give him a quick kiss before I grab my keys and purse. I head out to my car and sigh when I get in. I can at least buy a safe car to drive my baby around in.
It takes about ten minutes to get to the parking lot. Caroline is already there, so I pull up and park a few spots away. The sun is setting later these days so the park still has some kids in it as well as a few other cars.
“Hello,” I smile when I get out of my car.
“Hi,” she replies. She produces a paper shopping bag with the Yankee Candle logo on it. Inside is a Ziploc bag with the pills and another ten grand in it.
“Thanks.” I hook the bag on my arm. “How was the drive?” I don’t know why I feel the need to talk to her. Maybe my guilt doesn’t want this to look like a fucking drug drop.
“Fine. My son called me from college to convince me that his father wouldn’t cheat on me again,” she says.
I roll my eyes under my sunglasses.
“The prick offered to make an honest woman of me,” I snort.
Caroline looks like I just punched her in the gut. Her jaw drops and she turns to look the other way. Shit. Wrong thing to say.
“I’m sorry,” I say sympathetically. “If nothing else this just cements the fact that we’re doing the right thing?” I have no idea what else to say now that I blurted that out. Ugh.
“It’s one thing to find out that your husband is fucking another woman,” she says and there’s a slight sniffle. “It’s another to find out that it’s not just sex, that he wants to replace you. I don’t know what I did wrong. I’ve done everything a good wife is supposed to do and I know now that it’s never going to be good enough for him. Did you say yes? Would you if you didn’t know I was alive?”
“No, I said no, and I don’t think I would’ve said yes even if I didn’t know you’re alive. Bill doesn’t want to marry me, he wants a permanent sex toy,” I explain. “Caroline, the only thing you did wrong was fall in love with the wrong man. In getting to know Bill, I can see how that would be easy. He’s a charmer,” I say. “How do you think he got me? He’s not exactly a looker.”
“He used to be.” Caroline lifts her hands, probably to wipe her face. “I don’t even get the luxury of thinking he was a mistake because I have three children that I adore because of him. Your baby’s father… he’s a good man?”
“He’s the best man I’ve ever met,” I confirm. “I got to know him a little better recently and learned he’s been through a lot of the same things as me. We’re going to work something out and hopefully one day, he’ll ask me to marry him.”
“If he’s the one you want and he loves you, hold on with both hands,” she advises. “I was foolish enough to think Bill would keep choosing me. I’m just the silly little woman at home raising his kids, washing his shorts and cooking his meals. He got away with this because I didn’t want to see it. Don’t ever let yourself be blinded by happiness, Sookie.”
“I’ll try not to,” I promise. “I’m still so sorry I was with Bill. If I’d known ab–”
“Stop,” she cuts me off. “I don’t blame you or any of the others, for that matter. They didn’t owe me anything. Bill did. Bill does. It’s not just me he’s hurting by doing this. So if your conscience ever gets muddy, remember that. He hasn’t just betrayed me or you; he’s broken the hearts of three children I would slit the throat of the Pope to protect.”
I really hate that we can’t be friends. Any doubt or fear is taken away with that little rant. Bill is getting what he deserves. He’s going to die doing the one thing he used to hurt so many people. Will it weigh on me in the future? Most likely, but I have Eric there to help me through it.
“Thank you, Caroline,” I say quietly.
She nods and reaches into the car for something else. Another bag.
“I had some time to kill,” she says as she hands over the bag. “You’ll never have enough of these.”
I look in the bag and immediately break down in tears. It’s nothing big; it’s a bag full of plain white onesies. It’s also the first baby gift for a baby I never thought I would have. After the miscarriage I thought I was too broken for babies.
“I’m sorry,” I sob. “I don’t even know how to keep plants alive and now I’m having a baby and then you… and this.” I hold up the bag. I’m not making any sense and I know it. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. You know, it’s too bad we met the way we did,” she says.
I nod my agreement.
“Maybe after the baby is born we can plan to ‘run into each other’ somewhere so you can see him or her.”
Caroline nods. “I’ve heard Florida winters are nice.”
“I think Eric has some business in Florida.” I know he went there for business about a month ago. “Or we can take the baby on its first vacation.”
“We’ll work something out.”
“I’d like that,” I smile. “I guess this is it for now, huh?”
“For now. Oh! Bill and I fought because he mentioned an upcoming overnight visit here next week. Know anything about that?”
“Hmm, no, but he’s surprised me in the past. Unless he has another mistress here…”
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” she snorts.
“I wasn’t always available because I was working nights. But if I called he came running, so I don’t know.” I feel bad for her if he does.
“Well, consider yourself warned,” she sighs and turns to get back in the SUV.
“Thanks again for these.” I hold up the bag of onesies. She nods and I turn to go back to my car.
The drive home is short and when I walk in I see the kitchen is clean and Eric is just taking his shirt off.
“You didn’t have to clean up,” I say as my eyes scan down his naked torso. He’s a beautiful man. Tall, lean, muscley.
“I know.” Down go the pants.
“She got the baby a gift.” I hold up the bag, licking my lips when I notice he’s already at half-mast.
“Oh yeah?” He wraps his hand around his shaft and strokes.
“Uh huh, onesies.” I can’t take my eyes off of his cock. I want it.
I set the bags down and lock the front door. Just to give him a taste of his own medicine I pull my shirt off, dropping it on the floor. Since I rarely wear a bra my perky tits bounce a little when my shirt rubs past them.
“That was nice of her.” Eric growls quietly when my nipples pebble.
“She’s a very sweet lady.” I turn around and unbutton my pants as I kick my shoes off. I slowly peel my jeans and panties down over my ass, looking over my shoulder at him. I have to bend to pull the bottoms of the skinny jeans down some, making Eric growl a little louder when I flash him my pussy.
“Who hires hitmen in her spare time,” he smirks. “You know, I keep seeing your sexy little body in a black catsuit, sneaking into my house to do something evil, but we end up fucking instead.”
“I’ve picked a lock or two in my day,” I inform him as I straighten up to kick my pants all the way off. I reach into the Yankee Candle bag to grab the money she gave me today. “I even have the money to buy a catsuit.”
“It’s wrong to fuck on blood money, right?” His eyes are trained on my pussy.
I sit down in my big fluffy chair and hook my legs over the arms so my pussy is spread wide for his viewing pleasure.
“Not wrong at all,” I purr as I reach down to rub my clit. I would say the baby hormones are making me act this way, but I’ve been like this with him since day one.
“Good,” he replies. Eric pulls my ass closer to the edge of the chair and puts just his tip inside me. His thrusts are shallow, just stretching me around his thick head.
“Goddamn, that feels good,” I breathe. I keep my fingers moving slow while I look down my torso. The sight of his cock in me almost turns me on as much as the feel of him stretching me.
“Yes it does.” His hands go to my nipples to tug on them.
“Baby, you’re going to make me cum without even fucking me,” I breathe. The harder he tugs on my nipples, the more my pussy flutters.
“Should I stop?” He twists when he tugs this time.
“Mmm, fuck no,” I moan, arching my back to thrust my tits up. I move my fingers from my clit to stroke his exposed shaft.
“Do you want me deeper?”
“Yes, please,” I nod as I stroke.
“How deep?” He gives me another inch or so. “This much?”
“More. I want it all,” I tell him, batting my eyelashes a little.
“I love how greedy you are.” Eric cups my head to pull me closer. He waits until his forehead is pressed to mine and our eyes are locked before he drives in the rest of the way.
“Oh, fuck,” I breathe. “Again.”
He does it again… and again… and again. His strokes are slow, hard and so goddamn deep. Eric doesn’t break eye contact either. He stares deep into my eyes while he fucks me.
It’s so damn intense. The more my pussy starts to flutter, the more my heart swells. It’s not the sex either. It’s the way he looks at me. The way he treats me. I don’t think I love him just yet, but I can feel it growing with each passing second.
“Baby, I’m about to cum so hard for you,” I whisper. My hands grip his sides as he makes sure to swivel his hips each time he thrusts in.
“Do it, Lover,” he breathes. “Let me feel it.” He kisses my top lip and grinds against me.
“Ahhh!” I cry out when I erupt. My body starts to tremble and Eric lets out a little growl as my walls clench around the base of his long, thick cock. “So, so, so good…”
“I love the faces you make when you cum,” he whispers. He drops his right hand to my bump but his thumb is able to reach my clit no problem.
“Yes… yes… fuck,” I chant as he draws out my orgasm. It feels like it’s neverending. He groans as he places quick kisses along my lip and face.
And then all of a sudden he pulls out of me. He holds my thighs in place and his lips seal around my clit, allowing his tongue to flick quickly against the swollen, sensitive bud.
I cry out again, reaching down to grip his hair. Another orgasm rolls through my body. I can feel him watching my face as I cum. He’s always done this. If I think about it, he’s always looked me like I’m the most beautiful girl in the world. That always struck me as odd, but knowing his crazy ass is in love with me it makes sense.
“Get up here,” I whisper as I tug on his hair. I want him to think about his orgasm and not mine. “I want you to take whatever you want from me.”
“I’m having dessert,” he says from around my clit and ignores the tugging on his hair.
“Crazy,” I giggle-moan. Eric is hands down the most selfless lover I’ve ever had. I feel one of his fingers at my opening, drawing more of my juices out. I’m so wet I can feel it dribbling down to my ass and probably hitting the floor.
His finger moves down to my ass and pushes in my back entrance slowly. It twists and turns as it pumps in and out of me. I reach down to hold my pussy open for his tongue and lips on my clit. I use my other hand to tug on my nipple.
“Holy fuck,” I groan when yet another orgasm starts at the tip of my toes and rolls through my whole body. “More,” I moan. I’m greedy when it comes to this man.
And he’s only too willing to oblige me. His middle finger slips into my pussy while his tongue works quickly, circling and flicking my clit. At this rate I’m going to black out from too many fucking orgasms.
“Baby, I want you to fuck me,” I pant. I want to feel his thick shaft stretch me again.
Eric releases my clit and removes his fingers from me. He stands up and helps me shift around on the chair so I’m kneeling on the seat. Eric grabs my shoulders before driving into me, and this time he’s not sweet gentle. His thrusts are hard and deep, almost punishing. The chair in big enough for me to drop to my elbows. I press into the back of the chair, trying to push my hips into him to meet him on each thrust.
“Give it to me…fuck, baby, just like that, I pant before I feel a heavy hand land hard on my ass.
“Like that?” Eric spanks me again just as hard. “You want me to own this tight little cunt?”
“Yes! Show me who I belong to, baby,” I moan. “Own me. All of me!”
Eric growls and slaps my ass again. His thrusts speed up and I feel his thumb press into my back entrance while he pounds into me over and over and over. His thumb working in and out of my ass coupled with his huge cock driving into me rip another quick orgasm from me. I cry out his name and my fingers curl into the cushion.
“Fuuuuck,” he groans. Eric pulls almost all the way out and asks, “Who’s pussy is this, Lover?”
“All fucking yours, baby,” I moan.
“Louder,” he commands while slapping my ass.
“Yours, Eric!” I practically scream. “Fuck!”
Eric grabs me by my throat and pulls me upright against his chest. He finds my clit and rubs quickly.
“I’m going to cum deep in my cunt,” he growls in my ear. I can feel his shaft pulsing.
“Mmm, let me feel it,” I plead. “I want your cum so fucking bad… fill me up, Eric. Give it all to me. Mark me… fuck.”
“Fuckfuckfuck!” he shouts. He slams into me a few more times before he cums hard, deep inside me.
I groan and drop my head back against his shoulder. His hand tightens on my throat while he cums. All it does is make my pussy pulse harder, milking him for everything.
“You’re so fucking good to me,” I pant.
“I love you,” he replies. He tilts my head back and leans over to kiss me upside down.
I groan as our tongues slide against each other. My back is bowed and a strong aftershock rocks my body. I will never know how this man does this to me. I’m a shivering mess and I want nothing more than to curl up with him for the rest of the night. One more week and this Bill thing will be out of my hair and then I can focus on loving Eric. It’s on the tip of my tongue, but once again, I hold back. It doesn’t feel right knowing what I still have to do.