Joanna woke once that night, put her hand on me so I woke too, then I massaged her to sleep. Then for another 45 minutes in the morning before she left. I found myself with a honey-do list, and I found myself doing it. Finished putting up shelves in our home offices. Ran a snake through the upstairs bathroom pipes, which had been running slow. Scrubbed tubs, showers, sinks, toilets, windows. Re-mounted towel bars the previous owners had anchored in drywall but which would pop out if you didn’t lift the towel before pulling it toward the shower. I keep having to buy bigger drywall anchors. Did whatever pots and pans were in the kitchen, scraping off every blemish. Swept, vacuumed, mopped, even dusted. I already do some dishes most days and the heavy cleaning every few months except the dusting because ... who dusts? Sorted through some of the old computer equipment, CDs, and documentation in our basement. Three old laptops and two desktops were past salvage, plus mice, keyboards, cables. Jeez, I hadn’t looked at this stuff for years—there were a couple boxes full, plus the desktops. Would be nice to have it gone, yeah.
Joanna came home, said “Happy Hour with Bre and Anne. What did you plan for dinner?” She handed me a new list for tonight and tomorrow. “Make dinner tonight” was prominent, so was “No alcohol before it’s ready.” DAMN it, I like a beer and/or a glass of wine while cooking. Or two, heh. I thought about it, decided on chicken with capers and roasted lemons, which I hadn’t tried before but which had sounded good since I first saw the recipe, and all the ingredients were handy. I got to scrubbing, slicing, seeding, roasting, pounding, chopping, dredging, sautéing, grating. Orzo on the side with butter, parm, parsley, and garlic, then haricots verts. I’m the only one in the family who actively likes green beans, but Joanna and the kids tolerate them, especially swimming in butter and parm that maybe defeats the purpose, but ... my family’s relationship with greens is complicated.
She returned when the chicken was nearly done, kissed me on the cheek.
“Smells good, darling ... really good,” then kissed me on the lips, longer. I was feeling pretty satisfied, actually. Got a lot of nagging overdue stuff done without nearly as much fucking around as usual, and my day of unquestioning obedience was nearly done.
The chicken was outstanding, the orzo is always good, and the green beans, well, reactions varied as always, but at least everyone ate some.
“Wash up for me, sweetie?” Joanna said/asked. I got the kids to rinse and load dishes into the dishwasher, did the pots and pans myself. I try to minimize the number of dishes used so I will also minimize cleanup, but you know how that goes.
Joanna was on the living room couch, put her laptop away.
“Build a fire?” she said, and I did. Light starter paper under heavier starter like broken-up egg cartons, then light kindling for tinder, heavy kindling, and at least one level of logs, each level of wood crosswise to the one below to absorb and reflect that heat back down while still facilitating airflow. Do it right and you only have to light it once. For the rest of us, there’s extra starter, deep breaths, and time. Still, in about 5 minutes the fireplace was crackling and the light kindling was turning to coals. I once again envied the gas starter pipes my parents installed when I was growing up. Once the big logs get going the fire will take care of itself, but getting to that point can be tricky.
I sat down in front of the fire but to one side ... can’t obstruct the heat radiating into the room or why bother?
“Sit with me?” Joanna asked, and of course climbing to the couch with her was exactly what I did next. It was nice: kisses, embraces, warm fire. We played a game of cribbage. She’s good but I’m better, and since she hadn’t told me she wanted to win ... she didn’t. She seemed unhappy.
“So I only have a couple more hours of being totally in charge of you?” she asked.
“Bob, I really enjoyed this, you got so much done today, and there’s so much more we can do together,” she said.
I nodded, wondering.
“So what happens if I tell you I want to be in charge for another day?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I’m new to this.”
“Let’s try,” she said. “You will obey any command I give you for the next day.” And she snapped her fingers.
I wanted to nod, wanted to not nod. Settled for kinda bobbing my head.
“Do you understand?” Joanna asked.
“Do you agree?” she asked.
“You agree,” she said, and snapped her fingers.
“Do you like it?” she asked.
“You like it,” she said, and snapped her fingers.
And I nodded.
“And will you do it?” she asked.
“I love you, sweetie,” she said, and kissed me.
She kissed me more later, and I kissed her back. And front. And everywhere. And I liked that, too.
Joanna’s updated honey-do list was short: “Clean out the garage.”
No big deal, right? Except most of what was in the garage was stuff she’d put there. Not that I hadn’t also contributed and I certainly knew some was excess. Waste wood including furniture components she’d accumulated from garage sales or neighbors or auction sites or other random people. So many busted kites, old plastic sleds and bike parts, two bikes and several pairs of skis and poles the kids had outgrown, our college papers and notes in the same cardboard boxes they’d sat in for decades, aluminum cans, old paint cans from the previous owners, milk cartons I’d been hoping to build into a summer festival float. For 15 years. More old computers, printers, a big CRT, some even back in their original boxes. An old box spring, a carpet remnant Joanna had gotten from some college friends that we’d never come close to using. There was a truckload of stuff in there, plus the stuff I’d collected from the basement yesterday. Four destinations: electronics recycler, metal recycler, donate the surplus bikes and skis, and another to the dump. I rented a truck, hauled everything away, and still managed to return the truck by late afternoon.
Joanna had been to the spa. She was radiant. The spa visit meant her feet would be as soft and smooth as the rest of her. I liked that.
“What’s for dinner?” she asked.
I hadn’t started anything but there was still time. I had thought about it since I’d seen how things were going and expected they might just go that way longer, so I had carbonara in mind and said so.
“Sounds delicious!” she said, and turned me loose. I enlisted the kids’ help in tidying up the kitchen ... all kinds of dishes collect there when it’s just them, mostly bowls part full of room-temperature milk and shrunken pressed sweetened processed food-reminiscent shapes.
Then, chopping with my 16-year-old son Craig’s assistance, separating, shaving pecorino romano, sprinkling, boiling, sautéing, tossing, and ... yes!
Joanna looked at me like Scarlett looked at Jon after tasting his aglio e olio.
“You need to shave, honey,” she said, then cleaned up with the kids while I showered. And shaved. I hadn’t checked e-mail or phone messages or looked at the grimoire for two days. I wondered if I’d missed anything. We all played two rounds of Apples To Apples; a very sweet ending to a delightful family evening.
“I’m going to bed,” she told me at 9:30. Earlier than 10:00 means she wants me to join her and maybe just maybe have some fun. A code derived over many years.
“G’night kids,” I said, “you should go to bed soon,” but didn’t push since it was Saturday, then went upstairs, brushed teeth, washed hands, joined Joanna in bed. If she thinks we won’t be going to bed at the same time she tends to take a hot bath, but hadn’t tonight.
“Today was really good for me, Bo,” she said. “And you got so much done again!”
“Thanks, honey,” I said.
“I loved the carbonara!” she said, and I could tell she meant it. Her hands were rubbing me more than just scratching circles like usual.
“Thanks, honey,” I said.
“Today was so productive I think there are a few more things I want you to do for us tomorrow,” she said.
This was not unexpected. I really had to learn to be more specific when setting limits on compulsions ... I could see how this might easily get old. For some. And I was starting to feel twitchy about Mari, if and when she might seek me out.
Joanna moved her newly soft spa-scrubbed foot to my thigh, drew it slowly up and down. Moved her right hand to me. Her left to my forehead, pulled my hair.
Understand, this does almost nothing for me, but grabbing a handful of her hair and tightening when she’s stressing in bed and needs sleep can be incredibly helpful for her, mostly (I think) as a distraction. 10 seconds tight, 2 more seconds tightening further, then slowly releasing.
That’s not how it went just then ... she just grabbed a handful of my hair and pulled, I tried to sink into it but she let go before I could.
Meanwhile, her foot and other hand were still doing what they’d been, which was nice. I focused on that. I was already pretty hard and I got harder. She might’ve said some stuff but I wasn’t really paying attention. She pulled my hair some more.
“You know how I like it hard?” she asked.
I remembered back to a time before we were married, when she was as slender as a Southern European with a fantastic butt could be, when she woke me in the middle of the night in her small basement rental room bed and I was so damned aroused that I hit it hard and we both came harder before I was fully awake, as if my literal unconscious was in charge for once.
Call it an incompatibility if you like, but I’m with the Pointer Sisters on this.
Still, it was one of those unusual times that Joanna and I have spontaneously come together without foreplay, without additional manual stimulation. I mean, she (almost) always comes, ’cause I make sure she does, but that usually means I make sure she does and then she lets me.
Her fingers in my hair, pulling, her foot on my thigh, my balls, her hand on my cock, me pretty damn hard and getting harder, even gasping. A half minute of this and she climbed on. Pushed herself against me. Again, and again. Took me into her, kinda hard. Fuck, this was nice. Her dictating the pace, pushing, pulling, contracting, releasing.
Me ... cumming hard(!).
Me ... flipping her over, exploring her with my lips, tongue, the bridge of my nose in her wonderful ass. Sure, I’d just blown a load here, but ... damn.
Her ... cumming hard.
We both visited the bathroom, but under the covers remained warm, her embrace was wonderful, and then, about 7 hours later ... we woke, still in each others’ arms. I remember this fondly from back in the day and once again wished I could be that young.
“I think we should do some yoga together,” she said. It was fucking early. Or maybe it had just been late, or ... fuck.
“What did you have in mind,” I mumbled, eyes still closed.
“You remember,” she said. “With my college friends, you were too tall and too male, and it was like yogarobics for you.”
Fuck yes I remembered. Chick running the show, breathing deep and slow, except ... my lungs were a lot bigger and deeper, and when she said “exhale” to her almost entirely female audience, I was still inhaling. Fuck.
“What were you thinking?” I asked. Mind still fuzzed, sleepy f-bombs flowing.
She knows I like it when she exercises when I’m with her. Strength exercises, particularly. Her dipping against the wall, giant rubber band around her thighs, doing what the physical therapist recommends. Leg lifts, lower back flexes.
Yoga-conditioned ass that was plenty fine before. PT-conditioned legs, spa-softened feet, echoes of kegels and super-kegels from her childbirth days ... fuck.
Life was good.
“We could try some two-person poses,” she said.
“Hmmmmmm?” This was new.
“You remember supta baddha konasana?” she asked. “That really good groin stretch?“
I didn’t want to ... I remember it hurting, but then they all seemed to when you did them right.
“Well I think we could do that one,” she said. “Maybe with a twist.”
“Hmmmmmm?” And uh oh?
“Bo, the past two days have been so great, I want us to have that for one more day. Just one, and I promise I’ll make it worth your while. Hasn’t it been good for you, too?”
“Well, I’ve enjoyed getting so much done, and we’ve had more sex in the past two days than we normally have in two months, and it’s been really great, so ... yes ...”
“One more day,” she said, snapping her fingers before I could get another word out.
“Jo, I’m a little worried about what happens if Mari comes, and I don’t want to be restrained if that happens,” I said.
She smiled. “Speaking of restrained ...” she said. “Stretch your arms out over your head and grab the headboard. Then put your feet together in supta baddha konasana and let those knees come down, take as long as you need, nice and slow. Feel that groin stretch, deep inhale, hold for two seconds, knees coming down a little more on each exhale.“
And I did. After a few minutes my knees were within a few inches of touching the bed, then Joanna knelt to take the toes of both my feet between her thighs, which made it easier for me to stretch more, and rested her hands very lightly on my groin, stretching forward as she did. Which not incidentally gave me a fantastic view of her shapely breasts, now jutting delightfully forward and down. She smiled again.
“Feel the stretch through your arms and shoulders,” she said.
The view, her nearness and warm hands so close to downtown, her knowing smile, it all had a predictable effect and I got hard. Her smile broadened. “I knew Bobby would like this, too,” she said, then “Freeze,” and snapped her fingers.
And there I was spread high and wide, my body straining to stay relaxed with her hands on my groin, my feet bound between her thighs, her leaning ever farther over me, and I couldn’t have moved an inch if I’d wanted to. Her silken breasts brushed my surging cock from both sides and she moved, raising and lowering her torso, moving up and down mine, teasing side to side. Then she brought her hands together, the juncture between her thumbs and forefingers ringing my cock from both sides, squeezing so gently.
“I know you like it slow, honey,” she said, and began raising and lowering her hands and arms.
With me restrained, she took almost 10 minutes including two rests when I got close, removing her hands both times, then half a minute later beginning again, but with a different twist each time, the first by lowering a soft nipple to slide around my slippery cock head and letting me feel that nipple come erect, the second batting my shaft somewhat roughly side to side, hitting the backs of her fingers against my underside, batting it towards my belly. She’d only done something like this once before in our years together and I’d been completely caught by surprise by how hard it made me, but to my regret she’d never done it again. Until now. Oh, I was hard.
Then she stroked me to climax, exquisitely slow and gentle. And as hard as I was, and for having been so hard for so long, it was like losing my mind.
“Are you OK?” she asked as if she thought I was having a heart attack while I spurted and moaned and spurted and gasped and panted.
“Oh ... god ... yes,” I said, giggling between deep gasping breaths. “Honey, I think that was the best orgasm of my life.” I croaked it out gratefully.
She smiled. “Gooooood, honey,” she said, then maneuvered two pillows under my upper back and climbed to sit astride my chin, her ankles alongside the pillows and under my shoulders. “Adore me, sweetheart,” she said, and I did as she arched backwards, her hands coming to rest on either side of my waist, her thighs tight around my ears, a kind of seated heart opener pose. I was as rough as I could be without the ability to move anything below my neck, my arms and legs stretched up and wide, couples yoga indeed, her hips grinding into me, and then she came as hard as I ever remember.
After, she lay beside me, said “Unfreeze,” and I did, then we lay in each other’s arms, kissing, embracing, stroking, nibbling, until sleep returned for another hour.
After breakfast, Joanna told me her plans to visit an estate sale. There was a couch she wanted, to replace the one in our basement that had withstood about 10 slumber parties too many and was now somewhat broken-backed. As twitchy as I was about Mari’s possible return, which somehow seemed closer than before, I was not excited about this, and told Joanna so.
“Quiet,” she said, snapped her fingers, and I was. She gave it a second thought, finger on chin.
I came closer, put hands on the outside of her shoulders, gave her a pleading look.
“And freeze,” she said, shaking her head slightly, then told me the details. I would need to rent a truck and Craig would need to come along to help with the lifting, but she’d gotten the curator to set the couch aside and it would be ready to go.
I heard Craig’s voice from the front room. “Dad, someone just dropped off a lady in a Lamborghini out front and she’s coming up the steps.” Then I heard the front door open. “Dad ...” Craig’s voice sounded funny.
“Mom ...” My 13-year-old daughter Aly’s voice trailing off. Shit oh shit oh shit.
Joanna took me determinedly by the hand, led me to the front room.
And there, visible as violet, loud as lilacs, flagrant as phlox or figs, was Mari. But not Mari. In a long fringed cape-like wrap that made her look a bit like Morticia, Cruella, Carolyn Adams, Anjelica Huston, not so much Glenn Close but a little Josie Maran Marishka, even some Felonius Gru but smuggling balloons.
“Come here, sweetie,” she beckoned to Joanna with one crooked finger, and Joanna went. Behind me, Eric quietly cowered. Joanna’s compulsions kept me from moving or speaking. Mari glanced back at me, noting my silent immobility, turned to Joanna.
“I love what you’ve done with Bob,” she said, smirking, then “All of you go out the back door. Lock it behind you and don’t come back.”
My family filed quietly past through the dining room and kitchen, out the back door. I raged, helpless, motionless, trapped by my own short-sightedness. Craig’s glance seemed confused as he passed.
“Who is that lady?” I heard Eric ask Joanna to no reply; he hadn’t looked in her eyes but followed the family just the same. And then it was just Mari and me.
“Well hello again,” Mari said, hands on canted hips, tall as trees and draped as curtains. “Miss me?”