“DAMMIT!” Eve screamed as she saw flashing amber lights ahead.
The rain was coming down in torrents and she could see the small river had flooded over the road. There was a road crew waving her off as she gripped the wheel of her Lincoln Navigator and drove around them. She could just barely make out the yells that they were closing the roads and that she had to stop. She knew her husband was at his house and it was time to get him back. The water was halfway up her wheels when she started to lose traction. She heard sounds as the automatic traction control started to do its thing. She almost lost it but was able to make it through and up the county road headed to her husband’s house.
For the umpteenth thousand time she kicked herself for listening to that ass hat Greg. Yes, she was bored but why didn’t she volunteer or start a hobby or literally anything else. The sex with Greg was great the first two times. The next eight times it sucked as the guilt was wracking her to the point she couldn’t enjoy anything. Doug, her wonderful and caring husband, had no clue because he trusted her completely. So why did she do it? Boredom and the fact that she was a selfish cunt. The therapist had put it in kinder words but that’s really what it boiled down to in the end.
“I love him so damn much! I didn’t realize how much until I saw the look in his eyes when he got the letter,” she said to herself as she slowed down to make sure she didn’t miss the turn.
Now how was she going to convince him of that? The first was the recorded conversation that she had cut it off with Greg. The second was the clean bill of health from the clinic. The underwear from Victoria’s secrets along with the assorted sex toys and lube was another part it. Thankfully she had never done anything with Greg that she hadn’t done with Doug. The plan was to let Doug use her body any way he saw fit. The girl at the sex shop that sold her the riding crop had been adamant that she would feel pain if her husband wanted her to. She had a small thrill at the thought of being completely helpless if that was what he wanted. She stamped that feeling down, all that mattered was Doug’s enjoyment. He could use some of that writer’s imagination and put her through the paces.
She thought back to her confrontation with Greg last week. Although it was embarrassing, she brought the cops along with a lawyer and laid down the law. She would not press charges for blackmail and invasion of privacy if he kept his mouth shut. Those videos were taken without her consent and she would make his life hell if he showed them. She didn’t think she could have any less respect for Greg until she saw him almost start crying. He told her that her husband had put his lawyers and PR people on his tail, and he was sorry he ever tried to do anything that would hurt them.
On the one hand she was happy that her husband had stood up to the attempted extortion but she cursed herself for not getting to Greg faster so she could have another line of evidence that she was trying to make things right.
“I’m gonna let him do it,” she whispered to herself as she turned up the driveway. “I fucked ten times outside of our marriage, I am going to give him 15 free passes if he wants.”
The fact that she was hurt and chilled to the bone at the very thought of Doug being with another woman hit her hard. She couldn’t imagine what it must be like to have pictures. What a stupid, selfish cunt!
“Good, he’s still here,” she thought as she saw his car parked in the carriage house.
She pulled in tight behind his beat-up Prius. Even the damn car was making her tear up. She had negotiated a contract for him worth almost 3 million dollars over the course of the next two years. His latest best seller had sparked a new interest in his earlier works, so the royalty checks were huge. Yet here he was driving a beat-up Prius while she had a brand new, fully decked out Navigator simply because she mentioned in passing that she thought they were cool. She shut the engine off and critically examined her parking job. She had parked at an angle so he couldn’t escape. She was playing for keeps. Thankfully there were no other vehicles, he should be here alone. If he was here with someone, she would deal with it.
The house freaked her out. This had been the summer house for logging baron James Cunningham back in the 1800’s. At the time the town of Cunningham was one of the bigger sties in the state. James owned both the sawmill and most of the surrounding land. He was also invested heavily in the railroad which had a spur that ended in town. He made money on the logging, processing, and transport of the lumber from the valley. In fact, most of the lumber for the state house came from this valley.
That is why it was such a scandal when Mrs. Cunningham was found stabbed to death along with her lover in the house. The rumors flew that she had many boy toys and refused to give them up. A trial was brought, and James was found not guilty, to the surprise of everyone. After the trial he stepped back from the public view and retired to the summer house with only a few servants. The servants found him dead of a heart attack in the same bedroom his wife and her paramour had met their demise.
All his assets were split between his business partners except for the house. The house and twenty acres were in a separate trust left to the servants. After the last of the servant’s kin died the house and acreage eventually went to the county where it was in limbo for years. It had changed hands many times until it came up for auction a few years ago. By the time it had gotten to auction it had the reputation of being haunted. Kids told tales of breaking windows only to have them repaired the next day. It was a local make out spot for a while until one of the girls may not have been as willing as the boy thought. After that every time anyone would enter the house, they got the chills and a sense of dread. As the town dried up over the last century the house was abandoned and forgotten.
Doug had bought the house with his first big royalty check after everything else had been paid. He fell in love with the place and the fact that it had a history spoke to his creative side as a writer. He had slowly been putting money into the place trying to restore it as authentically as possible. He had no other hobbies, when he wasn’t writing or vacationing with Eve, he was organizing work to be done on the house.
Eve hated the house. It always had a dark and gloomy feel, also she could never seem to get warm when she was in it. Doug loved the place and talked about retiring to the country. If he asked she would quit her job right now and do it. She HAD to find a way to make Doug understand that she loved him and just made a terrible mistake.
As she entered the house, a familiar sense of gloom enveloped her. She shrugged it off and went looking for her husband.
Doug rolled over as he thought he heard the door downstairs open. He wasn’t drunk or even hungover yet, he was just depressed. He had spent four grand on this awesome bed and right now he never wanted to leave it. He decided he didn’t care enough to get up and investigate. The house had all types of noises that he chalked up to the ghosts in the house.
Doug was a writer and fantasy was what paid the bills. No one wanted to read about an accountant who went to work and did his job, then came home and talked to his wife before settling in to watch “Survivor” and then hitting the sack. People wanted to red about detectives who had keen insight, or blue-eyed dashing rogues that were always able to pull victory from the jaws of defeat at the last second. Those fantasies paid the bills, but they also left him with a little different view on life.
His respect for science was immense but he learned early on to keep his mouth shut about his personal views. He didn’t think that science could explain everything. There was always going to be some mystery or some phenomenon that defied explanation. So, he was willing to accept that a house could be haunted. This house had a history that lent itself to just that. He had recently come across the journal of James Cunningham that James had apparently started after being found not guilty. It chronicled the pain his wife had put him through with the various affairs, the last one in which she fucked her paramour on their marriage bed After her lover had beat him up.
“At least Evangeline kept her affairs a secret,” he thought bitterly. “She must have respected me enough to not rub my nose in it. That was something, right?”
The tough part was that he still loved her. How could he not? When she met him he was a struggling insurance salesman. Actually, that was too nice of a spin to put on it. He was a failing insurance salesman. But she stuck with him. She stuck with him as he failed at being a factory worker, a sales manager at a shoe store, a real estate agent and countless other jobs. She was always positive and upbeat. She never mentioned the disparity in their incomes. She had worked herself up to junior partner in a local law firm that specialized in business law. He remembered how happy she had been when he signed his first multi-deal contract. He let her negotiate the terms, it seemed like they were truly a team. He took the first check and paid off the house and the cars. Then he bought her all the things he couldn’t afford to when he was failing at everything. He chuckled now at the prenup he signed before they got married. Eve had a trust with one hundred and fifty thousand dollars in it that she would get upon turning 25. Her dad made a comment about a broke writer sniffing around his daughter. Doug remembered the feeling of despair and anger when he realized what her old man was saying. He wasn’t going to bring much into this marriage but if it all went sideways, he wasn’t going to take a penny more than he earned. He maxed out his credit card having a lawyer draw up a prenup stating that in the event of a divorce each party would leave with what they had brought into the relationship. Eve hadn’t wanted to sign it but Doug and her father were insistent. Now that act of pique was going save him millions of dollars. It was funny how much her father had warmed up to him after he made his first million.
He turned and rolled out of bed. Looking in the full length mirror he assessed himself. He was a scrawny nerd. He needed a haircut badly, he had a flat stomach but the rest of him was just weak. It really was no wonder she had decided to find someone else. The sad part was that if she was screwing around on him after he became successful, what was she doing all those other times? It was time to get the ball rolling, a call to his lawyer, a call to his accountant, and a call to Gino. But first he should probably get dressed.
He pulled on his Central Michigan University t-shirt and laughed at another yet another failure, he got caught with some pot at a party and got kicked out of college. Tossing on some shorts he headed down the grand staircase to grab some food. As he got to the bottom, he was surprised to see the door open and there was his wife. She was drenched and she looked like she had been crying but she was still beautiful. His heart broke all over again.
“Hey Eve, whatcha doin?” he asked, falling into the same pattern he always had.
She looked at him and started bawling, sliding down the door frame to sit and sob.
He wanted to comfort her but then he remembered those pictures.
“I am going to get something to eat, you can join me in the kitchen when you pull yourself together,” he told her.
“Close the door, it’s raining cats and dogs out there,” he yelled over his shoulder.
She was shocked out of her crying jag.
“He didn’t even touch me, I was crying and he didn’t even move to touch me,” she thought.
She cautiously made her way to the kitchen.
Doug was getting a pot down from the shelf. She could see the can of tomato soup open and ready to go. She watched him as he poured the milk into the pot then added the soup. He grabbed a pan and started the burner on low. He grabbed some bread and started buttering the one side.
“I wondered how long it would take you to come out here, “he said.
“You asked me for some time, I’ve been out of my mind for the last week wondering what my next step is. I finally decided I needed to come see you. I haven’t had contact with Greg in over a month except for taking a cop with me and threatening blackmail charges if he went through with his plan,” she replied.
“I already shot that down, if he even breathes a word of what happened between you, I will bury him with lawyers. Unless you consented to fucking him on camera he would be toast. Seriously, how could you screw such a scumbag? If it was a buff pool boy, that would be easier to deal with. This asshole wasn’t anything special, yet you were spreading for him every time I went out of town. Let me guess, he found out you wouldn’t get anything in the divorce and decided to try to get money from me directly?” he asked.
“You’re not far off, I had broken up with the douchebag a month before you got those pictures. The last four weeks I had been going to a therapist to figure out what was wrong with me. She essentially says I was a selfish cunt. I am paraphrasing there but the net effect is the same. As to why him, he was nice and he was there. I didn’t realize how much I hated you going on those book tours, I was lonely and drunk the first time. Then it was kind of fun and naughty, and you would never know. It was only when you were out of town. I had control again. God I am sounding like such a slut.” she cried.
Doug looked her over. He still loved and cared for her. He hated those damn book signings also. All he wanted to do was get the stories out of his head and on to paper and spend time with his awesome wife. Now when he looked at her instead of seeing his pristine goddess whose altar he would worship upon, he saw her with her head thrown back as she rode some skanky motorcycle guy. He shook his head as he started another sandwich.
“Here, you look like you haven’t been eating well,” he said as he slid the first sandwich over to her and poured her a cup of tomato soup.
She stared at the soup and sandwich, such an odd dash of normality in this odd maelstrom of insanity. She hated tomato soup, but she hurriedly took it and started to eat. It didn’t taste too bad and she tore into the sandwich. She couldn’t remember the last time she ate. It didn’t matter what it was, Doug made it for her and she was going to appreciate every little thing he did from here on out.
“What will it take for you to forgive me Doug? Please note I didn’t say get past this. I know we can never truly get past this. I just want to know what I have to do to make you love me again,” she said.
“You know it would have been kinder for you to kill me,” he replied, looking out the window into the torrential rain.
“I actually thought about doing it myself, tie an extension cord around the bannister and then just jump. Hopefully my neck would snap, the idea of suffocating doesn’t appeal to me. But think how that would add to this places story, mysterious stabbing of the original owner’s wife, then an author so despondent over his wife’s infidelities that he hangs himself, this place would be haunted for sure,” he said with a grim smile.
“Please Doug, don’t even joke like that. I have no clue what I would do if you did that,” she responded.
“Evie, my death would set you up for life. If we divorce you would get the money in your trust and 80,000 dollars. If I died you would get the two million I have in the bank along with the royalty payments for my work. I think you could get a better class of guys to fuck you than Greg. Really it would be a win-win situation for you,” he responded bitterly.
“Doug stop this conversation now. You are not going to kill yourself, what you are going to do is let me show you how sorry I am. I will quit my job and treat you like a king. I will be your slave girl, you can have me anytime or any way you want me. You know nothing has ever been in my ass. It will be yours whenever you want it. Even though it would hurt, I understand if you want to get a revenge fuck with someone else. I want you to use and abuse me Doug. Take all the pain and rage you feel out on my body and when it is all gone please fall in love with me again,” she told him.
Doug stared at her after her declaration. She seemed so intense about it, he didn’t doubt her for a second that she meant every word. His imagination started to run a little wild as he thought about treating her like a whore. There was an appeal to it. He pictured her in nothing but thigh high stockings under the desk giving him a blow job while he wrote. He pictured her mascara running down her face as he took her across his knee and spanked her until her ass were red. For the first time since he saw those pictures about a month ago, he felt a stirring in his crotch. Then he thought of the photos and lost it.
“You say it like you mean it right now Eve, but you also said you would forsake all others and you sounded like you meant that too. How can I believe you? How can I trust you?” he asked.
“You don’t,” she replied matter of factly, “You ask me where I am going, you check up on me and my whereabouts, you bug my phone and my car. When the pain and distrust get too much you yell at me and call me names. Eventually, and it might take years, you realize that I am where I say I will be, and I am doing what I said I would do. Eventually you remember the first time you fucked me in the ass instead of those pictures that dirtbag sent you. Someday you will get tired of screwing fangirls and realize that I am what I say I am, totally devoted to you.”
Doug frowned at the mention of him screwing his groupies.
“Where did you come up with this stuff?” he asked.
“I thought about what it would take for me to stay with you if our positions were reversed,” she responded promptly.
Doug finished his sandwich and drained the last of the soup from his bowl. Eve got up and cleared the dishes and put them in the sink.
“I just don’t know Evie, you hurt me so bad. I - I just don’t know what to do,” he said with tears in his eyes.
A loud thunderclap shook the house and the lights flickered. Doug sagged a bit as a wave of tiredness swept over him.
“I’m done. I’m done thinking about this, I’m done worrying about this, I’m just over it. I’m going to go to sleep and make a decision tomorrow. I love you Evie but sometimes love ain’t enough. You are more than welcome to ride out the storm here,” he slowly dragged himself out the door and up the stairs.
Eve watched as her marriage probably just ended. She made a quick decision.
“Doug, can I lay next to you till the storm is over? Give me one last chance to be close to you?” she sobbed.
He turned around and gave her a sad smile.
“I’d like that,” he said.
Doug started snoring the minute he hit the bed. She looked at him and tried to drink in every detail she could. He needed a haircut. His face looked drawn and haggard even as he was sleeping. She stripped down to her panties and took off her bra. She found one of his concert t shirts in a pile on the floor. He would never put his clothe away. He always had two piles of clothes either on the floor or on the bed. One was clean and the other was dirty. She used to get so mad at him when she would come home and find him buried in his computer with all the laundry done but piled on top of the bed. When they had money, he went and hired a maid service. Overnight both of their clothes were always pressed and put away. She thought back to what her therapist had told her. Part of the reason she strayed was because her life was too easy. She had a loving husband who was finally able to take care of every need or want she had. It went from her taking care of him to him taking care of her and she didn’t adjust very well at all. Not that it was an excuse, it was just a factor.
She put it on and climbed into bed with him. He looked like he was having a bad dream and she reached over to embrace him. The minute she touched him he snuggled into her and smile came over his face. He looked at peace. As they cuddled into each other she knew that the best thing for him was for her to be in is life. Even if they divorced, she was going to try her damndest to get him back. She had hooked him once before, she could do it again. With that happy thought she drifted off to sleep.
She woke up because the room had gotten so cold. She looked out the window and the sky was green. The rain and hail had stopped, and everything was eerily quiet. As she sat up, she noticed there was someone else in the room.
There was a young girl in a filmy, diaphanous gown leaning over Doug. Eve instantly felt something wrong about the girl. She was pretty enough, with a healthy girl next door type of look. What pissed Eve off was how she was stroking Doug’s face as he slept. He appeared to be whimpering in his sleep.
“It’s okay master, I am here now, I will make it better,” the girl cooed.
“Excuse me, who are you? Please get your hands off my husband,” Eve said as she got out of bed to confront this interloper.
“I am Jessica and I serve the master of the house, I’ve put him to sleep because he was feeling so sad. But you know all about that don’t you? After all you are the one that caused him to be sad,” The girl accused her.
“Yes, we have issues right now, but I am going to make it up to him. When did he hire you exactly?” she asked. Something wasn’t making sense.
“That is what the Mistress always said. She only made him cry more,” Jessica accused.
Eve knew something was wrong, but she was having a tough time figuring out exactly what it was. Her head felt like it was stuffed with cotton and her thoughts weren’t coming to her as quickly as they should be.
“What Mistress? How long have you worked here? What are you talking about?” Eve asked.