The wind gusted as Wendy climbed out of her car. She closed her eyes against the strands of auburn hair trying to fly into them, and then smoothed back the tresses when the wind abated. All the work she’d done this morning had been destroyed in a few seconds, but she wasn’t troubled. She was returning home without dread, which was still a novel enough experience for her to ignore the little disasters.
It had started with her first roommate in college, and continued on to the apartment complex she’d just vacated. For well over a decade, she’d been saddled with neighbors that ran the gamut from irritating gossip all the way up to drug dealers. Coming home had held some degree of apprehension for her ever since the day she’d moved out of her parents’ house.
“Bit of a breeze out here,” Mr. Davidson called from next door where he sat on his porch, drinking coffee.
Wendy returned the retiree’s smile and answered, “Just a bit.”
“The missus baked some cookies, and she told me to ask if you wanted some.”
She chuckled. “I do, but I’ve already cheated on my diet enough the last couple of days.”
“Diet,” he scoffed. “Why, you’re thin as a rail.”
“And it takes a lot of work to stay that way,” she answered back.
“Well, if you change your mind, just drop on by.”
“I will. Tell Bernice I said thank you.”
After waving a farewell, Wendy climbed the porch steps to the house. Opening the door to see her new living room set was something else that still gave her a touch of giddy euphoria. Her recent promotion had allowed her to leave the apartment life behind at long last. Frugal living had allowed her to fill it with everything she’d always wanted - within reason.
She dropped her purse and keys on a small, round table near the door that she’d purchased for exactly that reason, and then stepped out of her heels. A sigh of relief had barely escaped her when the doorbell rang. Having received a text message from her other next-door neighbor while she was at work, she had a good idea who had rung the bell.
Charlotte was wearing a wide smile and ignoring the wind doing a number on her long brunette hair when Wendy opened the door. She was holding the package she’d mentioned in her text.
“Can you believe the delivery man thought tossing your welcome mat over it was good enough?” Charlotte asked as she held out the package.
Wendy accepted her delivery and said, “Thanks for picking it up for me.”
“I mean, it’s a nice neighborhood, but still. Anyway, is that what I think it is?” the brunette asked with a sparkle in her eyes.
Wendy’s cheeks warmed, but she nodded in acknowledgment. It was Charlotte who had recommended the vibrator, after all. They’d already discussed it in far more intimate detail.
“You’re going to love it. Trust me,” Charlotte said. “I have lasagna in the oven, so I need to run.”
The two exchanged their farewells, and then Wendy took her package to the bedroom. She sat it on the nightstand, but as she turned to walk to the kitchen to see about her own dinner, a flash of movement caught her eye. Through the part in the curtain, she could see someone in the back yard next door.
Despite a twinge of guilt, she stepped toward the window for a better look. She peeked out through the curtain and a shiver ran through her. Charlotte’s husband Jason was hard at work, edging with the weed-eater, wearing nothing but a grass-stained pair of shoes and denim shorts. His muscular body glistened with sweat in the sunlight, looking positively godlike.
His skin wasn’t the only thing that was damp after a few seconds of watching him.
Wendy shivered again as she dragged herself away from the vision. It didn’t help that Charlotte had described what the shorts were covering and how well he used it. The brunette was utterly shameless when it came to anything sexual. Wendy’s gaze drifted toward the box on the nightstand, but after a quick shake of her head, she continued to the kitchen, instead.
Though she felt guilty about admiring her neighbor’s husband, it was one more thing that made every day a beautiful day in her new neighborhood.
One of the many perks of Wendy’s new position was the ability to work from home on occasion. When trying out her new toy had resulted in a late night - and numerous orgasms - she decided to take advantage of that perk for the first time the next morning.
Though she had worried about distractions and lack of motivation while working at home, she found that the opposite was true. She had fewer distractions from co-workers, and the time she didn’t spend putting on makeup, fixing her hair, dressing, and commuting ended up putting her ahead of schedule. By noon, she was waiting for others in the office to catch up before she could continue.
Relaxing on the couch to have lunch was far more pleasant than the break room at work, and being able to stick to casual clothing was a dream. By the time she finished up at two o’clock, she had determined that she was going to skip the trip into the office more often.
Having heard the lawn service pack up a few minutes earlier, she stepped out into the back yard to inspect their work. The previous week, they had skimped on the edging, and she wanted to make sure they had lived up to their promise to correct that error. Everything looked good, so she walked back toward the house, contemplating what she might do with the unexpected free time. It was then that she saw Charlotte in the window.
On the verge of waving, she was surprised to see someone else step into view. He was blond, handsome, and looked to be college age - easily fifteen years their junior, if not closer to twenty. Before she could even begin to wonder who he was, Charlotte reached out and cupped her hand between the young man’s legs.
Wendy gasped in shock and disbelief. Her fight or flight instinct kicked in, and she hurried toward the back door. Just before reaching it, she glanced back toward her neighbor’s window and saw Charlotte looking her way. Their eyes met for the briefest of moments, but it was enough.
After closing the door behind her, Wendy leaned against it and sighed. In a fraction of a second, her idyllic new life had crashed on the rocks. If she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes, she would have never believed Charlotte would cheat on her husband. She couldn’t imagine why, either. Her neighbor had nothing but praise for her husband, both in and out of the bedroom.
She was still reeling when the doorbell rang.
In a panic, she remained at the back door, not sure what to do. The bell rang a second time, and she forced herself to move. With every step through the house, she prayed that it wasn’t Charlotte at the door.
Her hopes were dashed.
“Can I come in?” Charlotte asked.
Not trusting her voice, Wendy nodded and stepped out of the doorway to let her neighbor in.
Charlotte barely waited for the door to close before saying, “So, that was Nathaniel.”
Wendy blurted, “You’re having an affair?”
The brunette smiled, shook her head, and said, “No.”
“But I saw you grab...” She couldn’t finish the sentence, though her hand gesture more than illustrated what was unspoken.
“That’s one of the few things that are within our boundaries when Jason and I aren’t together. We have a sort-of open relationship.”
It was all too much to process. All Wendy could do was stare - dumbfounded.
“Come sit down,” Charlotte suggested. When Wendy hesitated, Charlotte stepped to the couch and waved her neighbor toward her.
She briefly hesitated, but the whole thing was making her feel light-headed, so Wendy crossed to the couch and sat down.
“Jason knows about Nathaniel,” Charlotte began, “We’ve been talking online for a couple of weeks, and then met over the weekend. The two of them hit it off, because they both like the same teams.”
Wendy slowly shook her head and shrugged. “I don’t even know what to think.”
“It’s okay,” Charlotte said, and waved her hand in a dismissive gesture. “I wanted to break it to you easy, but it’s too late for that now.”
Wendy found a moment of amusement amidst the onslaught of unexpected information and asked, “What was the easy way supposed to be?”
With laughter in her voice, Charlotte answered, “I don’t know. I hadn’t figured it out yet.”
Wendy chuckled at that, and it helped to drain some of the tension out of the room.
Charlotte pulled out her phone and said, “Here, let me text Jason, so you know I’m telling the truth.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
Her neighbor smiled and said, “I want to.”
The brunette tapped away on her phone, and once she sent the message, she handed over her cell. The message read, “So, Nathaniel came over to return that Blu-ray. I think he was hoping for an early start. I gave him a little squeeze to keep him on the line, and Wendy saw it. At her house letting her know that you know, and you’re okay with it.”
Only a few moments after she finished reading the message, a reply came in,
“Well, so much for your plan. Cat’s out of the bag, huh? She freaking out?”
Wendy handed the phone back, and her neighbor read the message. “So, how do I answer him? Are we okay?” Charlotte asked.
.... There is more of this story ...