All quotes in this story are taken verbatim from "The Good Wife's Guide" an article purported to be from the May 13, 1955 issue of Housekeeping Monthly.
Rachel lay back, her breathing shallow, a thin veneer of sweat covering her from head to toe. Her body quaked with the aftereffects of yet another wave of pleasure. She'd lost count of how many times she'd come. She always lost track when Aubrey got at her. Already, the younger girl was expertly positioning her tongue, running it up and down Rachel's clit, her finger teasing the rear entrance to her flesh. Truth be told, Rachel never would have thought of that particular hole as an entrance if it weren't for Aubrey.
She felt another wave of pleasure coming on when the cuckoo clock in the living room announced the hour.
"Stop," Rachel called out weakly. Bracing herself against the pleasure, she said it more emphatically, "Aubrey, stop!"
Aubrey looked up, blonde hair cascading messily down her face and shoulders, spilling across Rachel's thighs, "You don't really want me to stop, do you, Mrs. Gutman?"
"God no, you wicked child," said Rachel affectionately, "but Joshua will be home in an hour and I need to get things ready."
"By my count," said Aubrey, "that leaves us another fifty minutes." She hadn't taken her finger out of Rachel yet. Now, she twisted it, letting her knuckle run roughly along the inside of Rachel's sphincter. Rachel bucked and moaned. She spoke as if Rachel were not at her mercy, "It doesn't take more than ten minutes for me to throw on enough clothes to go out the back door--or a window if necessary. When I was dating Ehud, his father came home one afternoon with a headache. I had to jump out the window and run all the way back to my parents' house in nothing but my skirt and my sweater."
Rachel knew that Aubrey loved to shock her. She didn't know why. It was such an easy sport. She would think that her dark, Sephardic complexion would give her some protection from blushing, but she swore that she turned beet red almost the first time Aubrey opened her mouth and stayed that color until a good half hour after the girl left.
"Aubrey," she ordered, "Stop. I mean it."
"What are you going to do," asked Aubrey, stretching languorously and she withdrew her finger at last, "tell my mother?"
"I should," said Rachel, rising from the bed before Aubrey could get up to any other mischief, "I worry about you. You don't follow the rules. One day, you're going to get into trouble you can't wiggle out of."
Aubrey shrugged as she rose, "And you follow too many rules, Mrs. Gutman. We've had this discussion before. Let's not fight. I hate to fight right before I leave. It makes me worry all week that you're mad at me. After last week, I went back to my dormitory and cried."
"I'm sure you could have walked out to the quad and found any number of young men to comfort you," said Rachel, reattaching her pearl earrings. After they were on, she was still without a stitch of clothing. Still, she felt much less naked.
"Goyim," said Aubrey contemptuously, "the same sort who wanted to 'comfort' me all through high school. No, thank you."
Rachel stood with her hands on her hips, "Aubrey, we've had this discussion before. You can't be contemptuous of goyim. You're a shiksa. In fact, you're the most shiksa shiksa I've ever seen. So tall and strong and Aryan..."
"Please," said Aubrey, flinches as if Rachel had threatened to hit her, "don't use that word. I hate that word."
Rachel tried to cover it up by continuing, "Blonde hair, blue eyes, that pert little nose. God, I love that nose," she took Aubrey's face in her hands and kissed the appendage in question, "But, we can't keep doing this. You need to find yourself a good husband, have some children, settle down. You can't go chasing after old Jewish wives for the rest of your life."
"You're not old," said Aubrey, "We were in school together less than two years ago. Besides, I'm not about to get married while I'm still in college. Once I graduate, I'm going to Europe. I'm going to study painting, so I can be as good as you."
"If you go all the way to Europe and only come back as good as me," said Rachel, "I would ask for a refund. Now, stop distracting me. You always leave me hurrying to get ready for Mr. Gutman. If there had been time last week, I would have turned you over my knee for that trick you pulled."
Aubrey's eyes widened, "It was an honest mistake. But, far be it from me to let that get in the way of a good spanking."
Rachel felt the blush rise again. It never really receded while Aubrey was here. But, she couldn't let the statement go unchallenged, "All of a sudden, I said to myself, 'I must really be getting the hang of this. She's never wrapped her legs around me this tightly before. I only hope I can hear the cuckoo clock when it goes off.' Then, I look up and I've got less than a half hour to get ready. Sometimes, I swear you want my husband to catch us."
"What does it take you an hour to do?" asked Rachel, "The place is spotless. You made the pork chops before we started--very trayf, by the way. If you..."
"What does it take so long to do?" asked Rachel, "You should know. You gave me the article." She pointed at the frame on the wall.
"As a joke," said Aubrey, "It was supposed to be a joke. I can't believe you've joined the cult of the happy homemaker."
"That's easy for you to say," said Rachel somewhat wearily, "You already fit in. You date Jewish boys and seduce married women and no one notices because you look like you belong here. For Joshua and me, we have to work twice as hard. Everyone knows we don't fit in. That," she pointed at the framed article again, "is the Protocol of the Elders of Peoria. That's the sacred path for fitting in here. If we didn't, people might think we were communists. We could end up like the poor Rosenbergs."
"I can't help the way I look," said Aubrey, "So, what do you do off of this list?"
"Everything," said Rachel, stepping into the bathroom, "if I can. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to take care of the second point."
"Prepare yourself. Take fifteen minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people." --TGWG
"Is that why you wear those ridiculous ribbons," asked Aubrey, "because of this?"
"Yes," called Rachel from the shower, shouting to be heard over the water, "don't you like them?"
"Not really," said Aubrey. Somehow, she had slipped silently into the bathroom. She stepped into the shower behind Rachel, taking the French-milled soap from Rachel's hands--the one she'd given the older woman as a gift after their first encounter--and rubbing it all over Rachel's body, "You have such beautiful, curly hair. Ribbons are made for flat hair like mine."
"Joshua likes them," said Rachel, "he told me so. I know he loves taking them off."
"I remember," said Aubrey. Then, she stiffened, "Oh, Rachel. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to..."
Rachel turned to face Aubrey, quieting her with a kiss, "Silly girl. How many times do I have to tell you? If you weren't dating Joshua, I would never have met him. I have my whole life to thank you for. I don't begrudge you your past with my dear, sweet wonderful husband."
"Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces, comb their hair, and, if necessary, change their clothes." --TGWG
Aubrey looked like she was going to cry, "Oh, Rachel," she whispered, "you're the best friend I've ever had. Promise we'll always be friends."
Rachel smiled at Aubrey, taking the soap away from her and lathering her up. Unlike Rachel, she worked efficiently and quickly, knowing time was of the essence, "You're such a child some times. Of course we'll always be friends."
Aubrey asked, "Rachel, is it okay for friends to talk about things among themselves, things it would not be acceptable to talk about in public?"
"You of all people should not have to ask," said Rachel, "You could make a sailor blush with that potty mouth of yours."
Aubrey took a deep breath. For a few seconds, it seemed like she wouldn't speak. Then, she said, "Would it be so awful, if Josh caught us together? I mean, we've all..."
Rachel slid past Aubrey, "Rinse yourself off," she said. Aubrey stood under the nozzle, rubbing the soap off of herself. When she was done, Rachel turned off the shower, "Come dry me off. I need to get dressed."
Aubrey looked miserable, "Rachel, I'm sorry. I..."
"I think it would be awful if he caught us together," said Rachel, "if that's what you were trying to do last week, you should have asked me. Fetch my hairbrush from the dresser, would you?"
Aubrey brought her the hairbrush. Once she had it, Rachel wielded it smoothly, stepped around behind Aubrey and smacked her hard on the bottom with it. It made a resounding smack. Aubrey glared at her as she proceeded to brush her hair. Then, she started laughing.
"I warned you," said Rachel, "I should do that far more often." Aubrey rubbed the red spot on her behind. Rachel went on, "Josh is still a little afraid of you. He thinks you're crazy and unpredictable and I am inclined to agree with him. The most awkward silence in our marriage came when I told him you were my new classroom assistant. If he had any idea of what we did while he was at work, he would probably die from embarrassment."
"I'm sorry..." Aubrey started again.
"Besides," said Rachel, "such things are never done."
"You mean like what we just did?" asked Aubrey.
Rachel sighed, "You sound a lot like Joshua sometimes. He once told me you had the reincarnated soul of a Talmud scholar--not that he believes in reincarnation, of course."
"Maybe," said Aubrey, "you should have me over for dinner tonight. Maybe, he just needs to see me in familiar settings. We haven't seen each other for a long time."
"I would die of embarrassment," said Rachel, "I'm blushing already."
"Come on," said Aubrey, zipping up Rachel's house dress for her, "It would be like old times. Remember how I used to 'chaperone' for you two at your little picnics?"
"See?" said Rachel, pointing to her now-crimson face, "already, death is setting in. Oh, heck. Would you throw some clothes on and put the pork chops in the oven, please. I need to make up the bed and finish my hair and jewelry."
"Sure," said Aubrey, skipping out of the room.
"In that order," called Rachel, "What would you do if Joshua walked in the door right now?"
"I would say, 'Hello, Joshua, ' and hand him a drink," said Aubrey, "like you do. We can't have his schedule disrupted by inconvenient nudity."
"You're shameless," said Rachel as her friend came back towards the room, "Do you know that?"
Aubrey nodded, kissing Rachel briskly on the mouth as she walked past, "Yes. I know. Now, would it be all right for your shameless friend to stay over for dinner? It looks like you're making plenty, even if you intend on leaving one pork chop for Elijah."
Rachel was shocked, "Aubrey, you never miss an opportunity to blaspheme, do you? How can I invite you to dinner if you say such things?"
"If I promise to behave, can I stay for dinner? Please, Mrs. Gutman?"
Rachel sighed, "I'll ask Joshua."
By Aubrey's smile, she knew she had won. Joshua would never acknowledge that he was uncomfortable around her, "Thank you, Rachel," she said, leaning up to kiss her on the neck.
"Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit." --TGWG
Rachel swatted her away, giggling, "Cut it out, Aubrey. I'm holding you to your promise to behave while he's here and not embarrass me or him. He's having a really hard time at the plant and his home should be his sanctuary from all that. Now, finish getting dressed and go sit on the couch. I need to tidy."
"Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives... Gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. and then run a dustcloth over the tables." --TGWG
Rachel did her daily circuit of the house, adjusting items a fraction of an inch, pulling the door to her perpetually-chaotic studio firmly closed. She knew that Joshua respected her privacy and wouldn't go uninvited into her studio if the door were wide open. But, even the sight of its paint-specked door ruined the otherwise perfect impression her living room gave off.
Sitting down on the far side of the couch Aubrey had taken up her perch on, Rachel said, "He should be walking in that door any second."
"Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late." --TGWG
"Well," asked Aubrey, "where is he? If he were going to be late, he could have at least called from the office. It would have given us more time."
"Aubrey," said Rachel sharply again. Then, more gently, she added, "I'm sure he's just caught in traffic."
A few more minutes passed. Then, Aubrey asked, "Would it be all right to have a drink while we waited for the king to arrive at his castle?"
"I'd rather we didn't," said Rachel, "I'd hate for him to feel like we'd started without him."
Realizing that Aubrey was shaking with barely-contained mirth, Rachel glared at her, "Aubrey!"
"I didn't say anything," protested Aubrey.
"No, but I could hear what you were thinking from here," said Rachel.
"You should turn off the oven before the pork chops dry out," suggested Aubrey. Rachel leapt to her feet, walked quickly to the kitchen, and turned off the oven, opening it to let its heat into the room. As she did, she saw her husband's car pulling into the driveway. She waved to Aubrey, "Josh is here. Pour a drink."
"It's about time," said Aubrey.
"For him, Aubrey," warned Rachel.
"Be happy to see him... Greet him with a warm smile to show sincerity in your desire to please him... Have a cool or warm drink ready for him... Don't greet him with complaints and problems." --TGWG
Aubrey was standing right next to Rachel, handing her the drink she'd mixed so that Rachel could hand it to her husband. Unfortunately, Joshua had sprinted up the sidewalk and caught them unawares. He was pulling off his shirt and undershirt as he came in the door.
"Rachel," he said, holding the shirts in his hand, looking helpless, "Could you do something about this, please? I was making a quick note in the driveway and I got ink on both shirts."
"Of course," said Rachel, exchanging the drink she'd just been handed for the dirty shirts, "It's good to see you, dear."
"You, too," said Joshua, "I'm sorry if I'm a little scatterbrained today. I had an awful day at work." Looking up from his drink, he noticed Aubrey for the first time. A smile crossed his face, "Aubrey Delmartre, as I live and breathe. How long has it been?"
"Almost two years," said Aubrey, giving him a warm smile, "Not since graduation." She eyed him frankly, "It's good to see that you've been taking care of yourself."
"Err, yes," said Joshua, "Sorry about that. I didn't know you were here. I'll go get another shirt. It's just that those dress shirts are so darned expensive."
"Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom... Arrange his pillows and offer to take off his shoes." --TGWG
"I'll get it," called Rachel from the bedroom in a singsong, "Those shirts need to soak anyway. I should be able to keep them from staining." She came out with a t-shirt, slippers, and a shoehorn. After Joshua had taken the shirt, she crouched at his feet and removed his shoes. Rolling up his pants legs, she undid his garters and peeled off his socks as well.
"Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. Remember [that] his topics of conversation are more important than yours." --TGWG
"So," she asked, receding back into the bedroom, "what happened to make today so awful?"
"Nothing extraordinary," said Joshua, "That's the whole problem. You'd think they could live without an accountant at all for the amount of respect I get. We give them spreadsheets and they come back an hour later and say, 'What if we changed this assumption?' Then, it takes another three days to do a new spreadsheet. And, they just don't understand why it takes so much time. I don't know if I can take another forty years of this."
"Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember. He is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him." --TGWG
Rachel said, "But, you do such good work. Why don't they appreciate you more?"
Joshua waved the question off. They both knew the answer. Instead of answering, he said, "Actually, there was a bit of good news today. Ron Provost called me today."
"Oh?" asked Rachel, "the one from the government?"
"Yes," said Joshua, "We had a long talk. It seems they're frantic about the Sputniks. Big plans are in the works. He says they're going to need a ton of people with my background for a big project in Florida. He guaranteed me a job if I wanted to go. It would be a chance to work in the field I actually studied. So, what would you think about moving to Florida?"
Rachel glanced at Aubrey, whose face was impassive. Her own heart sank. Still, what she said was, "I'm sure whatever you decide will be the right decision. I go where you go."
Joshua glared at her, "What kind of answer is that? Are you afraid to talk in front of Aubrey?"
"I can go," said Aubrey.
"No," said Rachel, "I'm just sure that whatever decision you make will be for the best."
"Rachel, you're talking nonsense," said Joshua. He turned on Aubrey, "Is this your doing? Every time she mentions you, it seems like she's bought some new folderol from those women's magazines. Are you smuggling them to her?"
"I didn't mean to," said Aubrey, "I just thought they were funny. I didn't know she would take them so seriously."
"Rachel, I want to know what you think or I wouldn't have asked," said Joshua more gently, "I married you at least partially for the amazing mind that you keep behind that beautiful face of yours."
Rachel blushed, "Joshua, not in front of company."
"Aubrey's not company," said Joshua, "she's practically family. You two were inseparable during college. Besides, if I remember correctly, I would bet that she could have us both blushing red as beets in about five minutes flat if she chose to."
"Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time for his return." --TGWG
"Of that, I have no doubt," said Rachel, rising, "Dinner is ready. Why don't you wash your hands and come to the table?"
"Smells good," said Joshua. As he disappeared into the bathroom, he called, "Aubrey, what are you doing here today?"
"Your wife," said Aubrey, who then took a long draught from her drink, extending the pause. Rachel nearly dropped the pan of pork chops before getting it on the board in the middle of the table, "offered to help me with my painting in return for my posing for her."
Joshua came out of the bathroom, hands extended like a surgeon, "You should see her work. She's really good."
"I know," said Aubrey, "Have you seen the portrait she did of me?"
Rachel blanched. How could Aubrey even bring that painting up? Her face burned with embarrassment and shame.
"No," said Joshua, "I haven't. Is it a good likeness?"
"Definitely," said Aubrey, "quite realistic."
"I'll have to see it, then," said Joshua, "maybe after dinner. Would that be okay, honey?"
"Aubrey flatters me," said Rachel, "It's really not very good. It doesn't look like her at all. It looks more like..." she struggled for a name that would be credible, "Marilyn Monroe."
"Oh, well," said Joshua, "I certainly wouldn't want to see it then." Rachel breathed a sigh of relief before she saw the rakish smile on her husband's lips that meant that she'd been tricked.
"Oh," she said lovingly, "you're impossible. Now, come to dinner."
As they ate, Joshua and Aubrey caught up on old times. True to her word, Aubrey mostly behaved herself. A couple of her answers could be considered innuendo. But, it was subtle and possibly all in Rachel's imagination.
"So," asked Joshua, "how long have you been posing for Rachel?"
"About a month," said Aubrey, "not every day of course. But, she was complaining about not being able to find any appropriate models around here, so I volunteered."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Joshua asked Rachel.
Rachel said, "You just seemed so awkward every time I mentioned Aubrey, I didn't want to bring it up and make you uncomfortable."
Joshua laughed, "I was uncomfortable because I thought you two didn't like each other. You always seemed to come over all queer whenever you ran into each other during the last semester of school. I thought you had some sort of tiff."
Rachel remembered. During the winter break, Aubrey had kissed her. Rachel had been shocked, but not disgusted. Somehow, she was not able to communicate the difference until she got a chance, more than a year later, to kiss her back. She hadn't known what to expect after that, but Aubrey had taken the lead. Until that second kiss, Aubrey had been a very awkward topic of conversation for her. After the kiss, she'd found herself completely unable to talk to Joshua about Aubrey at all.
"We patched it up," said Aubrey, smiling.
After dinner, Aubrey and Rachel cleared the table while Joshua sat in the living room, reading the American Journal of Mathematics. Once the dishes were done, all three sat in the living room for drinks and cigarettes. Rachel found herself drinking more heavily than usual. She knew that she would need the fortification if she were going to survive showing Joshua the painting she'd done of Aubrey without spontaneously combusting from embarrassment. Soon, she was surrounded by a warm haze of alcohol and smoke. She watched Aubrey and Joshua interact. They were animated and friendly. Despite the fact that Joshua sat in his chair and Aubrey on the couch, it was obvious to Rachel that they were deliberately not touching each other. They were engaging in an elaborate dance to spare her feelings. They always had. If religion hadn't mattered, Rachel was sure they would have been engaged or married before she ever met either of them. She searched her mind for jealousy over the idea and found a faintly glowing green patch of it near her fear of the Soviets and fluoridation of public drinking water. She nursed it, worrying it like she would a sore tooth with her tongue.
She felt the familiar dull ache of jealousy over anything she had to share Joshua's time with. Given her druthers, she would have liked to keep Joshua with her all day, touching him, smelling him, tasting him. She had carefully learned all of her wifely duties, but had some that she enjoyed far more than others. But, she knew that she couldn't have him like that. Beyond the mere practicality of needing a job, the six weeks between graduation and starting his job in the accounting department at the factory, he had paced the apartment they shared like a caged tiger. They had made love often, then--abruptly and violently. In some ways, Rachel had wished it could last forever, but knew it was born of Joshua's dissatisfaction with inaction.
So, she had learned to let go, to control the irrational jealousy that she felt for everything that took her husband away from her, even for a minute.