I was putting up the outside Christmas lights, and before you know it I was washing windows, me on the ladder outside and Helen on the inside, pointing out the spots I missed. Then she called me in to dinner. "The windows look so clean and sparkling," she said.
She looked so sparkling. So pleased with me. "And this is a good dinner, too," I said.
Afterwards I helped with the dishes, pressing up behind her, and one thing led to another.
Helen sighed. "We should do chores together more often," she said. "I'm still trembling. Here, feel."
I felt, and one thing led to another.
The next day the ladder was gone. I didn't notice until I was pulling into the garage after work. I remembered that I hadn't put the ladder away, and that's when I noticed.
"Do you know what happened to the ladder?" I asked Helen over dinner.
"No. What do you mean?"
"It's missing. I thought you might have noticed something."
"Do you think someone took it?"
"It looks that way."
"Maybe it was only borrowed."
"I don't think so. I think it was stolen. I should have put it away the other night."
"Oh, honey," Helen said, and she came around the table and hugged me.
"It's only a ladder," I said, "but still, it makes me mad. I mean, who would steal a ladder?"
"A second story man?" Helen said, and then she giggled.
"I'll second story man you," I said, and I squeezed her, and pretty soon we were on the floor and the dinner dishes didn't get done that night.
"Do you think you should call the police?" Helen asked me the next morning while we were finishing breakfast.
"Because of the ladder?" I said.
"Don't you think?"
"Why don't you call them?"
"Me?" Helen said.
"Sure, why not?"
"Because I wouldn't know what to say."
"Just say our ladder was stolen."
"Yeah, but suppose they ask me what kind of ladder it was. I don't know stuff like that."
"It was an aluminum step ladder. Six feet."
"Suppose they ask what it was worth, or... "
"Call them," I said. "I'll tell you what to say."
She dialed the number. "No, she said, "it's not an emergency. Okay."
She looked at me. "I'm on hold," she said.
I moved around behind her and held her. She was good to hold. Her robe came open.
"Still on hold?" I whispered into her ear before kissing it.
"Mmm," she said.
Still kissing her, I sat her down upon me and moved her panties out of the way.
"Mmm," I said.
Her hips begin making little motions.
"Honey," she said, "Honey, you're making me... Hello? Um, yes, I'd like to... um... um..."
I fluttered my tongue in her ear and pinched her nipples.
"To... um... call you back."
She hung up and for a moment when she took one of my hands from her breast I thought she was angry at me, but she moved my hand down to her mound and it didn't take long.
"That was mean," she said afterwards. "Don't you want to get your ladder back?"
"It's not likely they'll be able to find it," I said.
"Well then for insurance or something?"
"Good thought," I said. "Why don't you call the police back?"
"Oh, no," she said. "I'm not falling for that again. You call."
"Well, it's your ladder. You were the one who left it out."
"Okay, okay," I said.
No sooner had I dialed the number than Helen was at my zipper.
"Fair is fair," Helen said.
"Hello, I'd like to report..."
Helen had me out. I was still small, and Helen's mouth had me all.
"A ladder," I said. "A stolen ladder."
Helen sucked loud and hard, her lips making slurpy kissing noises, her tongue wiggling.
"It was," I said. "It was."
I could feel Helen's hand behind. Her finger probing.
Working its way in.
"Taken," I gasped, trying to hang up the phone. I missed. The handset dangled down. Helen's finger popped out. Her mouth left me.
"No fair," I said.
She smiled. "Did you make your report to the police?" she said, replacing the handset. "Did you give them all the pertinent details?"
"No," I said. "How could I with..."
"With what?" Helen asked, looking up at me past the bob of my erection.
I took a deep breath.
"Don't you want the ladder thief caught and punished?"
"I don't know. I guess so."
"Then don't you think you'd better make the call?"
"Are you going to... do what you were doing again?"
"Do you want me to?"
I wasn't sure.
"What's a matter?" Helen said. "Can't you come and think at the same time?"
"I don't know," I said.
"Dial the number," Helen said. "Let's find out."
"It's me again," I said. "About the ladder that was stolen. We were cut off. We..."
Helen stroked and sucked, slow and steady, and I gave the information as best I could. I kept waiting for Helen's finger. She teased me that way, touching there and then retreating, and I grew stiffer and stiffer, stumbling through the recital, until at last I was finished, and I cradled the phone.
"All done?" Helen said, her mouth for a moment releasing me, her hand stopping, the air shimmery and chilled.
"Yes," I blurted.
"Good boy," she said, "good, good boy!" Then she recaptured me, stroked harder, and that sly finger wiggled in. Staggering with pleasure, I shot.
"That is a good boy," she said, dripping, milking, squeezing out the last drops. She wiped her face with the side of her hand. "How come you had so much left?"
"I don't know," I mumbled.
"What did they say?"
"I love you."
"The police said 'I love you'?"
"I love you," I said. "They said they'd see what they could do but don't expect anything."
"So it looks like the ladder thief will get away clean?" Helen said, standing up.
"Clean," I said, kissing her.
"The thing is we still have a couple of windows left. The ones in the kitchen," Helen said.
"I guess I'd better get a new ladder," I said.
Minutes after Jerry leaves for work the police arrive. Not the police, exactly. One policeman, with a shiny brim to his cap and sharp creases on his trousers and a bulky gun buckled to his belt. I am still in my robe when he rings the bell, when I cautiously open the door.
"Ma'am," he says. "You reported your ladder stolen?"
"Right," I answer, holding the robe closed at the throat. It is chilly out. Snow not too far off. "Jerry. My husband. He reported it."
The policeman nods and smiles. Nice blue eyes. A boyish face. He looks to be about my age. Approaching thirty. "Um, do you want to come in," I say. "It's cold out here."
I lead him through the hall and into the living room. "Have a seat." I gesture to the couch. "Would you like some coffee?"
"No, that's all right," he says.
"You sure? It's all made. Decaf, but it's good decaf. Or are you not supposed to?"
"Okay," he agrees. "A cup would be fine."
While I am pouring the coffee into my new Peter Rabbit mug, I wonder about the police car in the driveway. His cruiser, I think they call them. What might the neighbors think? I shrug it off. In the year we've been here we've hardly been social with the neighbors. Except for nosy old Mrs. Dole across the road, the nearest house is almost half a mile down Bluebird Lane.
"I'm sorry about the mug," I say, handing it to the officer. "We didn't quite get the dishes done last night. This was an early Christmas gift from my little niece."
"It's very nice," the policeman says. He smiles at me. "About your ladder... ?"
"It was taken," I say. "Sometime yesterday or maybe the night before. What do you need to know?"
"We have the information from the report." He clears his throat. "I just dropped by to see if there was anything new. And to tell you we'd keep an eye out. I'll go to the neighbors, see if they saw anything. But in cases like these..." He shrugs and smiles.
I want to close my robe a little tighter, but I'm afraid how that might look.
"Ladders are unusual," he adds. "It's usually tools or bicycles. Sometimes toys."
"Yeah," he says. "Stuffed animals left out on the lawn. In a way those are the saddest. Carried off by a stray dog for all we know. But scooters or tricycles--no way a dog could be blamed for that. Once even a green worm."
"A green worm?"
"A kid's ride-on toy. Kind of a caterpillar. Taking something like that is really low."
The policeman takes a sip of the coffee then sets the cup on the end table.
"You don't like it?" I ask. "My coffee?"
"No, it's good," he says. "I'm not really much of a coffee man. Or when I do, with lots of milk and sugar."
"Oh," I say. "I'm sorry. I didn't even think. I guess I'm not used to having cops, I mean the police, in the house."
"Cops is okay," he says. He stands up. His creases are still sharp. My eyes move from his gun to his groin. I can't help it. Those blue eyes. I hurry to say something.
"I could get you some milk and sugar. Or a Coke? I guess I must have thought all cops liked black coffee."
"Most of them do," he says. His smile is so persistent. "But that's okay. I have to be going. I just wanted to let you know that I was going to check with your neighbors. About the ladder. If you do think of anything more, just call the station. They can patch you straight through to me."
.... There is more of this story ...