Maria

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(Continued from The Halloween Party)

Maria Monello checked the large clock whirring over the counter. And that’s what it felt like it was doing: whirring, not ticking, skipping seconds altogether to gobble minutes. She had closed the shop at noon to devote totally to the Barton party preparations knowing exactly how long everything would take. The candy apples, cool and shiny on the sideboard were done and should have been delivered by now. By rights, she should have kept Shea around for the afternoon to at least deliver. But she had other plans so here she was, late and alone.

The petite fours, all 200 of the little bastards, were in process. Nothing but the final icing then the pumpkin, or skull, or bat flourish on top. Another thirty, forty minutes at least. With a puff of her bottom lip and the back of her hand she blew her bangs back off her forehead, then stood softly trying to regulate her breathing. Her heart was not so much beating as flipping as she looked at her flour-dusted phone on the table. She had to make the call. She knew she had to make the call. Her hand almost shook as she reached for the phone then pulled back.

It was like being at the top of Wildcat back when she was a skier. That slope was at the very, very, veriest edge of her capabilities. Every time she stood at the top, tips over the edge, she felt this same way. Wanting to, not wanting to, afraid to, needing to. Once she pushed off, handed control over to the mountain, she was in control by only the thinnest razor’s edge. An exhilarating and terrifying feeling all at once.

She picked up the phone and moved back toward the office where the reception was better, stopping to stand in front of the mirror wall. She caught her own eye and smiled ruefully, “You’re a simple bitch”, she whispered to herself, then slowly, turned to look at her backside over her shoulder. It would be black slacks and tuxedo shirt later but now it was jeans and a t-shirt. Yes, the jeans-worn and torn like the kids wore them-were tight. They got tighter every year, but she still could rock them, even if she said so herself. And the way the seam ran up her middle every time she moved? That was nothing she could take out in public.

She caught her eye again; it was good that she wasn’t a poker player. They had softened allowing the vulnerability that she tried to constantly cover to leak out.  Her knees almost dipped as her free hand slid over her backside. The buzzing that she’d felt distantly and intermittently in her crotch for a week now, was louder, undeniable and pert near deafening.  She watched herself press the call button and lift the phone to her ear.

Things were coming together at the Barton’s. There were at least a dozen people there already and Beth could hear another car as she spoke on the phone to the pastry chef. “This is unacceptable, Maria”, she said sternly into the phone. “You should have been here by now…”

Duke sauntered in to listen to the one side of the conversation. Beth held up a finger. “Mr. Barton will be there within the half hour and…yes. Un-Huh. Well, they had better be ready. Yes, we will work this out.”

She disconnected with a sigh. “OK, Maria is ready. Late as usual. You have to go pick up the candy apples.”

Duke sighed in turn. “She knows I’d be happy to paddle her ass without needing an excuse right? She knows this.”

“It’s her process. She’s late with the pastries, you have to pick them up, she comes later with the second batch, apologizes, begs you not to punish her in front of everyone then….”

“She’s a sweetie. I’ll go now…”

“Yes, but don’t diddle too long…”

“Don’t you mean dawdle?”

She looked at him with raised eyebrow.

“Right, right….”, he said heading for the door.

“Duke”, she stopped him looking out the window onto the patio, “That couple over by the fire.” She nodded at two men huddled off to the side in animated, if muted, conversation. One was slight and wispy with thin blonde hair. The other pretty much the same but a head taller and thicker.

“Yeah, don’t know them. They came in on Buzzy’s invitation.”

“Is Buzzy here?”

“Not yet-they said he’d be here later. Nine or so…”

At that moment Buzzy Wagner was trussed up with zip ties and a ball gag in the trunk of his Audi deep in the bowels of his condo’s parking garage. He had regained consciousness and seemed fine. But he was a bad bet for nine o’clock.

(Continued…)

 

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The Halloween Party

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(Continued from Chelsea – 6)

He didn’t know how they would react to being invited to the Barton’s Halloween party. He and Linda had been there since the beginning and there was of course some concern about how his new budding harem might mix. It wasn’t a concern shared by the group; Beth and Duke wanted them there and they were like fifth graders-excited at the prospect of getting out with others. He made a note to himself: they are young vibrant women for whom a comfortable existence, no matter how well-spiced, could slip into boredom now and again.

“It will be outside-around the fire and the mantle we delivered. There will be tents if it rains, but strange as the weather’s been….”

“Will be any singles there?” asked Chelsea. “My flavor?”

“That won’t be a problem. They typically draw an interesting mix.”

“I want to be a nurse!” Gennie piped up. “Maybe a vampire nurse but sexy.”

“That would work, but you realize,” he drawled, “that any nurse showing up at this party better have an ample supply of latex gloves and thermometers.  Not the ones that go under your tongue, either.”

“Really?” said Gennie, the enthusiasm dipping a tad.

“Dude, even I figured that out”, Chelsea deadpanned.

“How about a vampire witch then? A sexy vampire witch?”

“You don’t need to be a vampire witch” said Chelsea. “Either one works. How ‘bout you be a witch, I’ll be a vamp…or a zombie. A zombie. Yeah, that’s it.”

“You”, Gen looked at him. What will you be?”

“I’ll be….me.”

“No costume?” they both said, sounding disappointed.

“You will be my costume. Once you settle on what you’re going as, I’ll fit you into harnesses…or choke collars and leashes. I’ll have each of you on an arm.”

“Oooo…” said Chelsea getting it. “Like Michonne.”

“Michonne?” Gen asked.

“Walking Dead. In season two when we first meet Michonne she has these two walkers on leashes as camouflage. Real bad ass! That’s it. We’ll be walkers. I got this idea…kind of wooden leashes-nooses at the end of poles…so we can’t turn on him. I can make those!”

“Sexy walkers!” yapped Gennie.

“Again with the sexy. I’m the one looking for someone, not you…And you” she pointed at him, “can be Michonne.”

“Sure, why not? Other than the woman/man thing, the black/white thing, the badass…not, thing, the dreads…I’m a spitting image.”

“I can’t even believe you know who Michonne is.”

“You brats. I’m older than you but not by THAT much.”

“Come on”, Chelsea enthused “….let’s work on these.”

“Hey girls, I gotta warn you though.”

Pulling up short, “What?”

“You’ll be rookies at this party.”

“Uh huh…”

“There will be games.”

“What kind of games?”

“Where the losers get spanked.”

“Jeeze…”, said Gennie.

“And you will lose.”

“Jeeze…”, again.

“Public spankings huh?”, asked Chelsea. “How many people?”

“No more than thirty. Unless there’s forty. Mixed bag-all genders, flavors, dispositions and predilections.

“Hmmm…” Chelsea said obviously more comfortable with the possibility than Gennie, then, “Hey is my butt still bruised?”

“I’m sure I don’t know.”

Quickly, she turned and unzipped her pants. “Chelsea!”, Gennie cried knowing what was coming. She pushed her pants and underwear down at once-further than she really needed to.

It hadn’t taken long for him and Chelsea to understand where they were coming from. Intellectually he knew there would be nothing between them physically even if Gennie wasn’t in the picture. Unfortunately, his cock wasn’t an intellectual and strained-just that quickly-against his own fly.

“That might be a bruise,” he said. “It’s hard to tell. Come back here and let me see if I can rub it off…”

“Put that thing away Chelsea. Dad’s getting all hard and bothered.”

Her pants were already up and she was tucking her shirt in. “I think the phrase is ‘hot and bothered.’”

“Not if you’re looking from this angle.”

Chelsea grabbed the wine. “We’re taking this out to the shop.”

“That’s fine. Leave the table, leave me with the mess as long as someone gets me a cognac.” He left it open to see who would. Gennie, suddenly excited about the Halloween party was sketching on a napkin and he wasn’t sure she’d heard him. Chelsea glided to the sideboard and poured.

He followed them as far as the porch and watched them almost skipping across the yard to the work shop. He sat and kicked his feet up.

In his life he’d made four fortunes and lost three, glided through some misspent summers in a misspent youth backpacking through Europe, been married for two weeks in France and for a decade for real, but had never had a time like this last few weeks. His level of happiness-which he hid as completely as he would any other emotion-made him nervous somehow. The cognac warmed him and, as he watched their shadows through the windows, he really cared not a whit about the mess in the kitchen.

(Continuing…)

 

Blue

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Perchenonso.tumblr.com

(Continued from Chelsea – 5)

Flopping onto her back Chelsea tore her shirt off over her head. Her bra went next as Gennie, still fully clothed hovered over her.

“You have to get naked!”

“I will…when the time is right. Close your eyes”, she whispered. Chelsea did, then felt Gennie’s breath. “I love your face”, she said closely inspecting. “Nose is pointy, has that bump. Too many teeth…Fucking freckles…” Chelsea smiled, reminded of everything about her looks she couldn’t stand.

Leaning closer Geneva touched her lips to Chelsea’s and felt her mouth gap enough to allow her tongue entry. It slithered slowly over her teeth one at a time, then into her throat–Chelsea lifting her head to accept it all. “Teeth feel about right”, Gennie breathed, pulling back. “You have a problem with these too, don’t you?” She slowly kissed and allowed her teeth to brush her lozenge hard nipples, one–then the other.

Chelsea lay still and accepting. It had been over a year since she had given control over to someone else, much less submit to someone’s hand for punishment. Long months and months of having to steer her ship herself with on one else to take the tiller. It had been exhausting and she had almost reached the point where she feared she would be forever hardened. Now, in a few breathless moments, it felt as if the walls she had built around her heart had proven to be made of cotton candy that disappeared in Gennie’s mouth. There was a single tear in the corner of Chelsea’s eye.

“Are you crying again?”

“No”, she said, still not opening her eyes.

Gennie kissed her eye softly, then the other; gently puffing her lips against the closed lids while sliding her hand up the inside of her thigh. “You have to toughen up, girl…” Chelsea whimpered like a desert wanderer finally reaching an oasis when Gennie slipped her hand further to cup her damp pussy. Immediately, as if charged, she arched her back allowing her body to beg ‘please’ even if her mouth said nothing.

Feeling the urgency Geneva slid down her body teasing her tongue at her belly button then the top of her mound-loving the mouthfuls of wiry hair that, in her imagination, even tasted of strawberry. She didn’t linger long though sliding down to lap her way into the warm place between Chelsea’s thighs. She knew her vagina the way school kids know the path home. Her clit was obvious-pulsing and ready as she touched it with her tongue, first gently, then not. Chelsea moaned and whispered her name. Gennie pulled out and slipped her hands under Chelsea’s bottom, then to her thighs to push her legs upward and to bring her tight little asshole within easy reach. “Owwww”, Chelsea gasped when Gennie’s tongue touched her there.

“Did you bring Blue with you?” She asked.

Chelsea wriggled feeling her breath tickling her bottom. “Uh…sure. In the bedstand…”

Gennie rolled off the bed and tossed her shirt aside, keeping the black T-shirt. She had bought Blue for Chelsea as kind of a joke when they were together and Chel complained that they didn’t spend enough time in bed. The joke turned into the gift that kept on giving and had been Chelsea’s most dependable lover over the past year. Gennie found the dildo easily in the drawer beside the bottle of lube. Blue wasn’t one of those over-the-top creations. Named for his color, he was of average length, average thickness, two hard average size balls at the base. Average was good, considering where he was going.

Chelsea watched, sleepily attentive, legs bent, one hand playing gently at her mound as if tending a smoldering fire. She caught the look in Gen’s eyes.

“You’re not going to….”

“I figured your butt was already sore.”

“It’s been a while Gen. A long while.”

“I won’t if you don’t want to.”

“I definitely want you to…”

Gennie hopped back onto the bed and allowed Chelsea’s hand to guide her head-first to her clit-then under her own power, down to the magic button. Chelsea’s head lolled to the side and she pulled her knees back giving her lover easy access. She hissed at the feel of her tongue, then the cool lube drizzling over her asshole. She then felt Blue there-bumping and pressing. Testing.

The first push stung, it always had, then burned as he burrowed in. But the pain didn’t last. She felt her bottom open and the well-oiled machine push inside, filling her. But because Gennie was a wicked little lover she didn’t push it all the way in at once.  She slid up her body and used her weight to pin one of Chelsea’s long legs to her breast relishing the feel of dominating one who really couldn’t be dominated. From above she watched her eyes as she slowly and carefully pushed the dildo inside-then back-then inside further-then back-then again.

“You’re killing me…” Chelsea whispered looking anything but distressed.

“Shhhh…” whispered Gennie subtly leaning into her, pegging her slowly, until Blue’s two firm balls bumped against her bottom. To ensure a goodly fit, Gennie twisted it gently, back and forth, drawing answering hisses and moans. She kissed her closed mouth and slid back down, chin to balls with Blue and found Chelsea’s pulsing pearl anxious for her return.

She nibbled it gently and flicked her tongue across it once, then again, keeping contact as Chelsea rose bridging up onto her shoulders. Gennie lapped quickly as the rising moans became a coughing keening until, in a spattering jolt, she came her-body tensed in a high arch above the bed and Gennie risen on her knees wearing Chelsea’s pussy like an oxygen mask. Not until she had spurted her last and slowly collapsed flat on her back, did Gennie pull her slick, shiny face away.

“Feeling better big girl?” she smiled.

“Can’t…feel…anything…”

She kissed her belly and put a hand under her bottom to help flop her onto her side. Moving her like a doll she bent her top leg, exposing the bright blue balls attached to her asshole. Then very slowly, very deliberately, millimeter by electric millimeter, she began withdrawing what seemed like five feet of Blue from Chelsea’s rectum. For her part, Chelsea moaned into a pillow, sure her insides would follow. Then, with a soft POP he was gone and she felt weightless and empty. “Stay right there, love,” Gennie said, patting her upturned rump.

In the washroom she stripped quickly, pausing to pull her stickily sodden panties off carefully. Naked, she let the water run to steam and prepared a plush washcloth. Chelsea hadn’t moved and Gen sat on the bed beside her and patted her lap. Chelsea flopped face down-a weightless rag doll.

She ministered again to her bottom, gently wiping the bruises, the space between her cheeks and the warm wet space below. Then dropping her cloth she rolled Chelsea onto her back. This time, Gennie felt her firm grip and opened to it, falling into her arms and returning her hard kiss. As she fit her body firmly in place Chelsea wrapped her legs around her as the room filled with the power of the two. They joined as a single trembling being, their lovemaking pushing the air itself out through the cracks and crevices in the walls and floor.

There was nothing in the dim light of the warm room but them-as one.

(Continued…)

Chelsea – 4

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(Continued from Chelsea – 3)

“Come on Chelsea”, he punctuated every instruction with a wave or a point with the paddle he had taken from a cabinet. It was a nasty piece of work that she had never seen before-dark wood, holes drilled along the length of it, varnished to a high sheen. “Put your hands here”, he tapped the edge of the workbench. She stepped forward reluctantly and placed her hands where she was told. She knew, as Gennie had found out, that with the doors wide open anyone who pulled up in the yard-or was wandering by on trails off in the woods-would have a clear view of the proceedings.

“Move your feet back a tad”, he said tapping her shins. Her stomach roiled as she shuffled her feet backward enough to position her bottom to his liking.

“Geneva”, he said using her proper name which was never a good sign.

“Yes?” she answered quickly from her position near the door.

“Take her pants down.”

“What? Me…Why…?”

“Get over here and take her jeans down. Now.”

“But…” she hadn’t moved.

“She’s getting ten swats on her bare ass. If you don’t get over here and do as you’re told immediately she’ll get twenty. And I’ll give you ten.”

Chelsea looked back over her shoulder. “Go ahead, Gen. Please.”

She moved quickly then, to right behind, roughly hip to hip. She reached around to unbuckle her belt and unzip her fly. When her jeans slid down, Chelsea could feel her back there-bumping and rubbing against her.  Then, after a pause, she felt Geneva’s thumbs in the elastic of her panties then her blue-jean clad leg against her own bare thigh. The touch, even accidental and in passing, was electric to her right now. Chelsea didn’t have Geneva’s curves, so when she bent over more of herself was on display than she would have liked.

Geneva stepped back, her heart flapping loose in her chest. She had taken her spanking a couple of weeks before and none since. She thought there would be another-he’d threatened, for sure-but she thought he might be kidding. But she’d never been paddled nor had she ever seen anyone paddled.

She didn’t know where to look. At Chelsea? It wouldn’t be right to stare at her naked butt though it was right there in front of her. Living together for a year-some of that time as lovers-had given her ample opportunities to see her naked, top and bottom. But not like this. She didn’t know if she was embarrassed, or embarrassed for her.

She looked to him for an idea of what she should be doing but he didn’t look her way, standing as he was beside Chelsea absorbed in the task at hand. His grey eyes were clear and focused as hers flitted about until it became apparent that she couldn’t not look-couldn’t not witness. She watched Chelsea’s bottom cheeks quiver as he patted her once, twice with the paddle to measure, then reared back. Good Lord, he was taking a long swing! She held her breath. Then it flew hard and fast-HOLY SHIT!-landing firmly on target with a sharp CRACK!

Chelsea absorbed it with little more than a rise onto her right toe. “Oh Jesus”, Gennie whispered to herself as the second swat landed and both hands involuntarily flew to the top of her head as she rocked up on her toes.

He adjusted the next swing and hit Chelsea again, full force on the left cheek then again across both with a loud SWAT! She grunted at that and broke her knees slightly. He stepped back. “Go ahead”, he said.

She held the workbench and squatted deep to try to relieve the burning in her skin.

“Can I rub?” she asked down on her haunches.

“Yeah, sure.”

She stood and rubbed her backside softly but quickly.

“How you doin’?” he asked.

“Not great” she said dryly but firmly.

“You good with this?”

“Yep!” She said sharply.

“You deserve this?”

“Yep!” she bit off.

Without being told, she straightened and repositioned herself. Looking past her throbbing bottom Gennie saw the muscles in Chelsea’s arms and shoulders flex and bunch as her fingers trembled gripping the bench. She didn’t move when the next swat landed with a loud CRACK! but Gennie did, spinning to look out into the yard. Enough is enough!

The few remaining swats landed loudly with nothing but a grunt and one stifled “Oww”. How could she stand it? Gennie wondered breathless, but then, by the time she thought it, she had. “Pull your pants up”, she heard him say. Still not turning around she heard the jingle of the belt and the rustle of denim. “Go to your room”, he said gruffly.

Go to your room? Was she actually being sent to her room? Somewhere, deep inside, Gennie felt the shadow of a memory slide past as Chelsea brushed by her walking purposefully toward the house. Her cheeks, glanced on the way, were dry-but flushed. Chelsea was gone inside and probably up the steps as Gennie still watched the door through which she had disappeared. He approached from behind.

“You OK?”

“Yeah…Jeeze…”

“Yeah. I’m sorry about that. Here…” he handed her a tube of ointment. “This will help. Go take care of her.” She held the tube and looked toward the house. “Go. She’ll want to see you about now.”

(Continuing…)

Chelsea – 3

 

tumblr_nzyvo9tk1x1s3zznpo1_1280(Continued from Chelsea – 2)

“CHELSEA!” Geneva cried as she was coming up the hill from the apple trees. “THE WORKSHOP!” Chelsea looked up to see her running and pointing behind her. She spun to see smoke rolling out of the open door. “SHIT!” She dropped the mower deck and ran into the smoke.

Fresh sawdust smolders for a long time before bursting into open flame. Chelsea figured she had not very many more seconds before the smoke bomb would have become a conflagration. As it was, she didn’t even use the fire extinguisher, just turned the hose on it. By the time Gennie came gasping through the door, it was out, leaving nothing but the smoky cloud behind.

“Shit, Chel. What happened?”

She was too shaken to just laugh it off. “I don’t know. I had a cigarette…”

“You were smoking in here?”

“No! I mean…I was smoking out there-working on the mower deck-then came in here for a wrench. Must have laid the cigarette…”

“Jesus!” Gennie was nervously circling. “Okay, okay…we won’t tell him, right? We just won’t say anything.”

“Sniff, girl. Smells like fire in here.”

“We’ll open the loft door. Then get rid of it-the sawdust. Everything that’s burnt. We’ll take it back into the woods.”

“It’ll still smell in here.”

“Fire up the saws. Fresh sawdust will cover the smell!”

“Gen, that’s not going to fool him. I’m fucked.”

“No. Come on!” Geneva grabbed a shovel, “Get that bucket, both of those…”

Chelsea wasn’t moving. “I’m not lying to him Gen. I’m not.  Is that what you want to do?”

Gennie came up short. “What? No…I didn’t mean that…” She shut up with the crunch of the pickup on the gravel outside. She hadn’t even heard him coming up the driveway. “Aw, Chelsea. We are fucked.”

“Not ‘we’. Not ‘us’…this is my problem, not yours. I’ll deal with it.”

Chelsea ached, not at what she was pretty sure was coming, but at the changing light of his face as he came toward them. Behind the taciturn mask was a smile of joy at seeing them, then a concern over their serious faces followed by the darkening clouds of anger, disappointment and dread of what might have happened. And now, what was going to have to happen.

She had caused this stormy weather. If not for her they would all be standing around talking, laughing, planning the evening. But they weren’t. Because of her. She had never forgotten how it felt to deserve to be punished.

(Continuing…)

Chelsea – 2

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(Continued from Chelsea)

The sliver of moon had slipped past the window, leaving only a dull gray glow over the room. Gennie roused beside him with a snuffle and rolled into his chest. He slipped his arm behind her head to make a space to snuggle.

“You awake?” he whispered.

She murmured something that could have been yes, no or maybe so. He settled back into his pillow happy to close his eyes and let sleep take him back down. Until he felt her hand slide over his thigh. It fell there not by chance but with a purpose, moving slowly up to his cock which, more awake than he, rose eagerly to meet her. She took him in hand slowly feeling him grow. He rolled toward her gently pushing her over with his shoulder.

He licked at her neck then left his tongue’s glistening trail down her body following the receding blanket. Full of her heady night smell he added his tongue to her own lubrication. She responded with a soft moan and drew her legs to her chest. In the quiet almost clandestine manner of midnight sex he pushed her further backward and slid into her all at once and completely, answered by a hiss rather than a daylight moan.

“Try to be quiet”, she said folded up on herself.

“Why?” he asked, sliding out then back in wet, easy motion.

“I feel bad. Chelsea doesn’t have anyone right now.” He kissed her lightly, for a moment taken by her sweetness and consideration. Then his kisses became deeper, harder mimicking the push of his cock into her. She thought she was being quiet-would have liked to have been quieter, she truly would have. She whimpered into his shoulder, biting instead of moaning…she was doing the best she could.

In her room, where the moon still shone brightly, Chelsea rolled onto her side. Their lovemaking hadn’t awakened her, but she was awake, if barely. Eyes closed she slipped her hand into the loose waist band of the cut off sweats she wore for pajamas. She drew her legs up and found herself easily in the damp folds. Exhaling softly, she rubbed gently to the rhythms coming from down the hall.

Continuing…

Chloe – Part 2

Continued from Chloe

Karen’s stomach flipped as she pulled at the large wooden door and stepped into the dim warmth of Umberto’s. Thank God that they were busy-Chef wouldn’t have much time to spend with her and she could get in, collect Chloe and get out. She was standing at the end of the bar blinking against the half-light when Marie appeared at her shoulder squeezing her arm.

“Hi honey”, she said gently kissing her on the cheek. Then with a shrug and eye-roll, “She’s back here.” Karen followed through the dining room and only hesitated for a quick breath before sliding through the swinging doors to the kitchen, embarrassed for a quick moment that all she cared about was how her hair looked.

She saw him before he saw her and the flip her stomach did when she walked into the place, returned. And spread to her chest. The salt and pepper goatee, the muscled arms swelling against his black T-shirt reminded her immediately of why she had to leave here.

It only took a second before he noticed her. “Hey-Beniamina. Come stai? How you doin’?”

“Hi Tony-great to see you”, she kept her smile tight and professional-not wanting to offer much. “Not under these conditions though.”

Tony gave her a quick-but not perfunctory-hug, coiling his thick arms around her for a moment. “Kids’ll kill you, you let them,” he said releasing her and taking her hands as if she were a long-lost friend. “You shoulda had a boy-they love their mothers.” Then he shrugged. “Want to kill their fathers, but hey, that’s the way. You had a boy, you’d be the queen mother instead of the wicked witch. Girl will fight a mother straight through till they’re both women-then it’s like they’re sisters. Trick is surviving till then. “

Karen wished she was listening but all she could do was watch his mouth, the straight porcelain white teeth, lush tongue rolling every vowel, Adam’s apple bouncing between the cords of his neck. Then there was the familiar whiff of cloves on his breath that he used to cover the occasional cached cigarette.  Jesus.

“You look great”, she heard him say. “You still in the business?”

“No. Got my CPA-working in finance.”

“Ach-numbers”, Tony threw up a hand.

“Keeps me off my feet all day.”

“You ever want to dip your toe back in, call me.”

Karen shifted on her feet as the small talk wound down. “Here”, said Tony, reaching into a pocket on his apron. He handed her the check that Chloe’s group walked out on.

“Impressive”, she said frowning. “And wine too. I’m sure none of them are of age.”

“That’s another issue. One that I’m taking up with their server Lynette. She’s good. New, but not that new.”

“I’ll pay this, of course.”

“You of course will not. I’ll take care of it. You might tip Lynette though-she has enough to worry about right now.”

“Of course.”

Standing here in front of Tony was actually worse than she thought it would be. She had no idea what he was thinking right then but her mind, in spite of everything else going on right now, slid directly to his cock. She wondered if it was stiffening as he spoke to her. She was conscious of hoping that it was. She actually glanced at the tile floor feeling the cold ceramic on her knees as she imagined dropping and dipping her head under his apron to gnaw at it like a sausage in denim casing.

Karen knew-or assumed as everyone else did because there wasn’t a newsletter-that Chef and his wife had an “understanding” and as far as she knew, again assumed, it extended only to spanking the help. She’d heard also that his wife started that thing when she worked with him at their first place.

She’d heard he had a “special” relationship with this one or that one over the years but not as special as the one Karen wanted to have with him. He resisted her pretty well over the three years she was here but she knew she would wear him down over time-which is why she left Umberto’s. She obviously didn’t mind ruining her own marriages but didn’t want to ruin his. That was her story then anyway.

“So where is the master thief?”

Tony nodded. “Office.”

As she turned away she felt his hand on her bicep, “You know how they say that the sins of the father are visited on the sons right?”

“I’ve heard, yes.”

“The reverse can sometimes also be true”. He winked and squeezed her arm before turning back to his post. She felt the heat rising in her cheeks. Don’t blush, she repeated over and over like a mantra, as she blushed and swallowed a breath.

Chloe looked too big for the chair she was sitting in. She was wearing the blue and gold madras skirt she had appropriated from Karen for the cheerleaders Night at the Races fundraiser a few months before. Karen knew that she wouldn’t be seeing that skirt again except on Chloe but she was fine with it. Since last winter’s growth spurt she could wear her mother’s clothes and lord knows she had enough for both of them.

Sitting there she looked twenty-five to the casual observer but upon a mother’s closer inspection there was the defiant teenager in her sullen look. She studied the floor in front of her twisting a blonde lock between the fingers of her left hand, completely ignoring the fact that there was someone else in the room with her.

“So”, Karen asked evenly, “How was your day?”

“Don’t! I’m not in the mood”, she scowled back.

“Really Chloe? Really?”

Karen felt a stab in her throat and a tightness constricting her windpipe. If she spoke again, she would squeak. She looked away and started counting-something Deena had told her to do. “One, one-thousand, Two, one-thousand, Three…”

As she pulled her eyes from her daughter, she noticed the wooden spatula on top of the filing cabinet. Hanging in the kitchen with everything else it was an innocuous piece of cookware. But in here-sitting alone atop a filing cabinet-there was no mistaking it’s intent. Had he brought it in here waiting for the end of Lynette’s shift or had he, over the last few years, just abandoned all pretense and kept it in here.

Or maybe…was it possible he left it here for her. Did he bring it in here with Chloe as a suggestion to how to deal with her recalcitrant daughter? If he had, Karen didn’t know how she felt about that.  But still… she reached over her daughter and picked it up, held it-something she’d never done before. She knew what the flat end felt like in application of course, but never held it by the handle. She turned it in her wrist and studied the woodgrain darkened by years of stirring.

“Mom?” she heard Chloe say from far away.

It was lighter that Karen would have assumed as she waved it easily, gently, through the air subtly pantomiming a batter swatting a ball down the first base line. That wasn’t the motion Chloe was seeing of course and Karen was fine with that.

“Mom!” came that voice again. When Karen deigned to look her way, her daughter’s eyes were bright and wide-no hint of the hooded sullenness that took up her face minutes before. Her eyes weren’t leaving what Karen had in her hand. “Can we leave?”

“There’s a lock on this door”, Karen said calmly.

“No!” Chloe said quickly grabbing the sides of the chair as if to attach herself to it. “No, Mom!”

Karen made a show of trying to decide what to do. She glanced at the door, hefted the spatula then looked back at Chloe’s wide pleading face. She noticed the spattering of freckles across her nose and the dampness in her glistening eyes.

“Can’t we just leave? Please?”

Karen wasn’t exactly proud of how good she felt eliciting this feeling of fear in her daughter but for the first time in a couple of weeks she felt she had the girl’s attention. She was inclined to not beat herself up too much over it and call if even for the countless missed curfews and various other things Chloe had done to drive her crazy. Yeah, she’d call it even for now but….

“Sure”, she said putting the spatula back on the filing cabinet. “We can leave, but this discussion is not over.”

“Sure…OK”, she said quickly, eschewing the snide “whatever….” she typically would have thrown in.

On the way out, Marie pointed them to Lynette-a small, bright athletic type with a thick shock of silver hair done in a boyish cut. Nothing boyish about her body though and impossibly young looking though Karen was learning that the older she got, the younger everyone else looked.

“How much you have in your wallet?” Karen asked her daughter.

“I don’t know…about thirty bucks.”

“Give it to her”, she nodded to Lynette. “Never stiff a waitress.”

Without a question, Chloe handed over the money with a quick apology-a nice touch that Karen hadn’t expected.

“I’m sorry”, Lynette told Karen, eyes bright. “…I should have carded them. It’s just that we were so busy….”

“It’s OK”, said Karen. “It happens…” The poor kid was probably apologizing to everyone thinking it might bank her something when she met with the boss later. Karen knew that it wouldn’t.

(Continuing…)