Repost: Houseguest From Hell
Hope all my U.S. readers had a safe and fun 4th! I felt like posting something, but am short on inspiration this week. I found a story I’d posted a few years ago on my old MySpace blog — since I have many newer readers now, I thought it was worth a revisit.
Before that, however, a couple of things. For those who were so kindly concerned, John seems to be doing a little better. He’s still tired and not quite himself, but his face isn’t hugely swollen anymore and he isn’t feeling pain, just some discomfort. We went out for lunch, he napped in the afternoon while I watched the Twilight Zone marathon, and then we went for a nice long walk into the town square. He has today and tomorrow off, so he’ll get plenty of rest.
And also, a special thank you to Red at Consensual Spanking for the smiles… and the kindness. ♥
Hope you enjoy!
Houseguest From Hell
Tom stood outside his front door, juggling his briefcase and fumbling for his keys. As he put the key in the lock, he could hear the giggling from inside and he groaned. Looks like Lauren was already here. His wife’s friend, here for another one of her visits.
He and Jane had been married for two years and this was Lauren’s fourth time visiting them. She and Jane had been college roommates. Although they had little in common—Lauren came from a wealthy family and was at the school on her father’s money, while Jane was there on a scholarship and worked a part-time job—they got along well and became close friends. Two years after college, Lauren had come into a huge inheritance; she’d quit work and moved to New York. She traveled extensively, and every few months, she made a trip to visit Jane. When Jane and Tom got married, this practice continued, much to his chagrin.
He did not like Lauren. He didn’t see any reason why she couldn’t stay in a hotel, with all her money, but Jane insisted on putting her up in their spare bedroom. While she was there, it was very clear she was used to being waited on. She never washed a dish, hung up a towel, made a bed. She spent inordinate amounts of time in their single bathroom, making both Jane and Tom late for work on occasion. She was a complete slob, eating where she pleased and leaving crumbs everywhere. She would take Jane shopping and buy her extravagant gifts—designer clothes, perfume, expensive trinkets. Things that Tom could not afford to buy his wife, and Lauren knew it. The worst part of her visits? For a day or two after Lauren left, his normally sweet-natured wife was withdrawn and moody, and very snappish with him if he tried to ask what was wrong.
He walked into the living room and saw his wife and her girlfriend on the couch, painting each other’s toenails. On the table was a half-empty bottle of wine and two glasses, a bowl of chips and a box of chocolates. Music was blasting from the stereo. He walked over to the entertainment center and turned the volume down a bit. “Hi, honey, hi, Lauren,” he said.
“Hey sweetie,” Jane said, beaming at him, her face flushed. Clearly, she’d had her share of wine. Tom noticed the ashtray perched on the arm of the couch. Neither he nor Jane smoked.
“Lauren, didn’t we ask you last time to please smoke on the balcony?” he asked.
“Well, hello to you too, Tommy,” Lauren answered, stuffing a handful of chips into her mouth. “You’d better be careful, or I might think you’re not happy to see me.”
He frowned at the familiar use of his nickname. From Jane, it was endearing. But from Lauren’s lips, it sounded belittling and sarcastic. Silently, he picked up the ashtray and carried it into the kitchen. Once in there, he looked around. No sign of dinner anywhere. He and Jane alternated weeks, either preparing dinner or picking it up/ordering it. This week was hers.
Sure enough, he heard Jane call from the other room, “Honey? Lauren and I are going to go have a girls’ night out. Do you mind calling for a pizza or something?”
He walked back in. “Do I have a choice?” he asked. Jane shook her head at him, and Lauren smirked, “Aw, come on, Tommy, be a sport. It’s Ladies’ Night at Mas Tequila, or else we’d ask you to come with us.”
Yeah, right, he thought. You know damn well I’d say no anyway. Out loud, he said, “OK, you guys go have fun. I have some work to do anyway.” He picked up his briefcase and walked into the spare bedroom, which also served as an office. He noticed, with distaste, Lauren’s clothes strewn all over the room. A bra was draped over the top of the desk chair; he plucked it off, threw it on the bed and sat down. He could hear Jane and Lauren scrambling off the couch and running into the bedroom to change, laughing and discussing what they’d wear.
He’d done some work, nuked a frozen pizza, watched a bit of TV and gone to bed. Around 1:00, he woke up when he heard Jane enter the bedroom. He watched her kick off her shoes, unzip and shrug off her dress, her footing a bit clumsy. She stripped off her underwear and crawled into her side of the bed; he could smell alcohol and toothpaste. Feeling an intense desire to connect with her, both physically and emotionally, he turned onto his side and reached for her, trailing his fingers down her arm. But she shrugged away from him.
“Tom, not tonight—it’s late, and we have to get up early,” she whispered. Then she briefly squeezed his hand. “Go to sleep. Good night, honey.” And within minutes, she was asleep.
Frustrated, he flopped onto his back. Outside the bedroom door, he could hear the TV blaring loudly. Obviously Lauren wasn’t ready to go to sleep yet. Groaning, he pulled the pillow over his head.
Lauren often came in the middle of the week and stayed through the weekends. Tom wasn’t crazy about the idea of her staying in the condo alone while they worked, but Jane refused to hear any of his trepidations and insisted on giving Lauren her own key so she could come and go as she pleased. The next night, he came home and found Jane and Lauren in front of the TV, watching a movie. Not only was Jane wearing a new dress, but he could see new shoes sitting a few inches from her stockinged feet as well. Again, there was no sign of dinner.
Jane hit Pause on the remote and smiled at him. “Good, Tom, you’re home,” she said. “We were thinking about ordering in some Chinese, what do you think?”
Well, at least they weren’t going out again. He loosened his tie and sat down next to her. “I don’t know,” he said, only half joking. “Can we afford it, after what you no doubt spent on that outfit?”
Before Jane could answer him, Lauren snorted. “Don’t be so damned cheap, Tommy,” she said, grinning, but with a cutting edge in her voice. “You didn’t pay anything; I bought the clothes and shoes for Jane. I looked over the poor dear’s wardrobe; looks like she hasn’t gotten anything new since the Bush administration. Bush Senior, that is.”
Jane giggled, but Tom wasn’t amused. What was that, some not-so-subtle hint that he didn’t spend enough money on his wife? He shook his head and muttered, “Go ahead, order what you want.” He got up and went into the kitchen to get a beer, hoping it might help dissolve some of the tension in his neck and shoulders.
“Oh, Tom,” Jane called after him. “Honey, Jack pulled one of his last-minute numbers and he needs me to go out of town with him tomorrow night. Lauren was going to go home early, but I told her to just hang out here. I’ll just be gone tomorrow night, and all day and night Friday. I’ll be back Saturday, and we can all spend the weekend together, OK?”
Jack was Jane’s boss; she was his personal assistant, and although the man paid her generously, he couldn’t tie his own damn shoes without her. Tom was glad he wasn’t in the same room, so they couldn’t see his teeth grind together. Great—just what he needed, a night alone with Lauren. What the hell was he going to do with her? And without Jane there as a buffer, she’d no doubt spend the whole time needling him. He put his head in his hands for a minute.
“Tom? Did you hear me?”
He forced his voice to sound cheerier than he felt. “Yeah, I heard,” he said, retrieving a beer and going back into the living room. “And what are we supposed to do while you’re gone?”
Jane shrugged. “Come on, it’s not for that long. You’ll be at work all day tomorrow, and I’m not leaving until the evening. Friday you’ll work, and Lauren can hang out, do whatever she wants. You guys just have to get along on Friday night. You can do that without killing each other, can’t you?”
Lauren rolled her eyes, then laughed. “Oh, we’ll have a grand time, won’t we, Tom? Don’t worry, Jane, I’ll behave myself, I promise. Old Tommy won’t even know I’m here.” She looked pointedly at Tom. “Will you, Tom?”
He sighed. Clearly, he didn’t have any say in this, either.
The following night at 9:00, Jane’s boss came to pick her up in the company car and they took off to the airport. Jane had prepared dinner for the three of them, and then Lauren took off for the evening, so things were peaceful. Tom went to bed at 11:30, and Lauren still hadn’t come back, so their paths did not cross that evening. Maybe this would be OK after all.
Friday morning, Tom got up, showered and dressed, made coffee. The door to the spare room remained closed and no sound came out, so he knew Lauren was still asleep. Fine, he thought. I just hope she doesn’t burn the place down or something before I get home from work. Reluctantly, he left to go to the office.
Once again, outside his front door at 6:00 PM, he could hear music blasting. Letting himself in, he surveyed the room. Lauren was sprawled out on the couch, her feet up—she hadn’t bothered to remove her sneakers. She wore gray drawstring sweatpants and a skimpy white tank top, and her eyes were closed, her head nodding to the music. The newspaper was strewn about in sections. On the table was her ashtray, filled with butts. He smelled microwave popcorn; a bowl with the dregs of it sat on the floor by the couch. And next to the ashtray was one of their best Waterford glasses, from the set his parents had given them for their wedding, half-filled with red wine.
In annoyance, Tom stomped over to the stereo and shut the music off. Her eyes flew open and she made a face. “Jesus, Lauren,” he grumbled, picking up the bowl and indicating the wineglass. “It’s bad enough you eat and drink me out of house and home, but do you have to use our best crystal?”
Lauren rolled her eyes at him and sat up. “Ahhhh, lighten up, Tommy,” she slurred, pushing her hair out of her eyes. “Wha’s… what’s the point of having stuff if you don’t use it?”
He stared at her, then shook his head. “You’re drunk.”
She giggled. “And you’re ugly, but I’ll be sober in the morning!” Laughing hysterically at her own joke, she fell backwards onto the couch. Tom left the room with the popcorn bowl and the ashtray, and dumped the contents of both in the kitchen wastebasket. On the counter, he saw the bottle of wine; it was nearly empty. The kitchen was a mess. Apparently she had made herself some lunch and couldn’t be bothered to clean up after herself.
Gritting his teeth, he walked back into the living room, where he saw Lauren taking another healthy slug of wine. “I think you’ve had enough of that,” he snapped.
She looked blearily at him. “You’re no fun. Can’t drink, can’t listen to music… what can we do for some fun, hmmmm?” She smiled, shifted over on the couch and patted the cushion next to her. “C’mon, come talk to me. I’ve been alone all day.”
Shaking his head, he went over to sit next to her. Before he could open his mouth to attempt a conversation, she launched herself into his lap, pressing up against him and planting sloppy kisses on his face and neck.
“Lauren, what the hell…?!” he yelped, pushing her back.
Lauren laughed, then sat up on her knees and leaned forward, rubbing her chest against his arm. She wasn’t wearing a bra. “Don’t you want to touch them? They’re so much bigger than Jane’s.”
Tom flinched in disgust. “That’s because you bought yours,” he said. He figured that would shut her up, but nothing seemed to faze her in her intoxicated state. She continued to press against him. “Come on, Tommy, you know you want me,” she murmured, breathing into his ear.
“Stop calling me Tommy!” he snapped, pulling away and shifting backward on the couch. “Want you? Lauren, are you out of your mind? I don’t even like you.”
Lauren glared at him for a moment, then snickered. “What’s that got to do with anything? I don’t like you either!” She scooted closer, putting her hand on his thigh. “I just wanna figure out what l’il Janie sees in you, that’s all.”
Angrily, he slapped her hand off. “Cut it out! Apparently, Jane has better taste in husbands than she does in friends. Now knock it off before I toss you out of here on your drunken ass!”
She pulled back, all flirtation gone from her face and replaced with anger. “Fuck you, Tom. Your loss,” she bit out, then grabbed the wineglass and drained it. Then she got up, weaving toward the kitchen with the empty glass in her hand.
“And you’re not having any more wine, either!” he shouted, getting up to go after her. Before he got to the kitchen, he heard a loud crash. Oh, shit… he ran in, and there she stood at the counter, with the Waterford glass in shards at her feet. “Ooopsie,” she giggled.
“Goddamn it, Lauren!” he yelled. “Now look what you did!”
“Oh, relax, you cheapskate, I’ll replace it!” she sneered, reaching into the cupboard. She took down a second wineglass from the shelf, then reached for the bottle.
“Put that DOWN!” Tom roared, not wanting to step into the kitchen and trample on the broken glass. Lauren’s hand froze, and she turned to give him a measured look. He watched in shock as her hand deliberately opened and she let the glass slip through her fingers and crash to the floor, joining the wreckage of the other one. “I guess I’ll pay for that too!” she taunted.
Tom was across the kitchen in three strides, his shoes crunching noisily on the broken glass. “You’re damn right you’ll pay for it!” he growled, grabbing her arm. In a swift motion, he pulled out one of the breakfast nook chairs and sat on it, and, grabbing Lauren’s other arm, yanked her toward him, sending her sprawling face down over his lap. He clamped his arm across her back, and then began applying his palm to the seat of her sweatpants with vigor.
Lauren screamed and thrashed, kicked her legs wildly. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m giving you what you need and deserve, that’s what I’m doing!” Tom yelled back, pulling her closer against him and tightening his grip. His hand cracked down again and again, and Lauren, enraged, punched his shinbone as hard as she could.
“OW! Damn you, Lauren! OK, you asked for it!” In a fury, he reached under her belly and jerked the drawstring untied, and yanked her sweatpants and panties to her knees, ignoring her shrieks. He then swung his leg up over both of hers, trapping them, snatched her flailing arm and pinned it to her side, and began to spank her bare bottom with all his might, thoroughly enjoying the sight of his bright red handprints rising on white skin.
Lauren hollered at him, threatened, swore, and pummeled his leg with her free hand, but nothing stopped the spanking. Finally, when his hand ached and her bottom was streaked with red and purple, he ceased the blows and loosened his grip on her. She fairly flew off his lap and clumsily stood, nearly pitching forward as her clothing tangled about her feet.
Quickly she snatched up her panties and then her sweats, glaring murderously at Tom. Her face showed no contrition or embarrassment. Her eyes brimmed with unshed tears, but she angrily dashed them away. “You bastard,” she hissed, her voice cracking.
Tom got to his feet and matched her glare. “Yeah, I’m a bastard,” he said calmly. “And you certainly don’t want to stay in a bastard’s home, do you? Get your stuff together and leave. I don’t want to see you here ever again.”
Lauren stormed to the kitchen door, then turned and looked back at him. “Jane’s going to be SO pissed off when she hears about what you did to me,” she jeered.
I could throttle her senseless, Tom thought, and no jury would convict me. Instead, he took a deep breath and coldly replied, “Listen up, you spoiled little bitch. You won’t tell her a damn thing—not unless you want her to hear all about how her so-called friend came onto me. Now get out.”
After she flounced out of the kitchen, Tom sat down at the table, feeling stunned, his heart pounding and his hand throbbing. He heard various crashes and thuds as Lauren raged through the bedroom and bathroom gathering her things. As she stomped through the living room, he called out, “And leave the spare key!” There was no reply, but a silver key came flying through the door and bounced on the tiles. Then the front door slammed, rattling the windows. Tom sighed heavily in relief, ran a hand through his hair and surveyed the mess around him. After a few moments, he stood and went to retrieve the broom and dustpan. Cleaning up would be easy, compared to figuring out what he was going to tell Jane.
On Saturday afternoon, Tom gave the condo yet another look, but everything was done. He’d swept up the broken glass, washed the dishes, cleaned the bathroom, put the living room and spare room back in order. Now, he anxiously waited for Jane to arrive.
He knew he was going to have to tell her, one way or another, about what had happened, but he didn’t know how to broach it. And he did not want Jane to know about how Lauren so blatantly came on to him. She didn’t deserve that kind of hurt.
He sat on the couch reading the paper, absentmindedly swinging his left leg, until he felt a twinge of pain in his shin. Rolling up his pants leg, he saw a large plum-colored bruise where Lauren had punched him. “Freaking hellion,” he muttered. “I’ll bet her butt looks worse than my leg, though.”
Finally, he heard Jane’s key in the lock, and then the door opened. He looked up and his stomach clenched. Jane’s face was tense and annoyed.
Without greeting him first, Jane walked in, put her bags down and said, “Tom, do you know where Lauren is?”
He looked at her. “Hi, sweetie. Welcome back.”
Jane’s face softened, but only slightly. “Sorry… hi, honey. I’m just upset about Lauren. She said she’d pick me up today at the airport so we could have a little ride together. I told Jack to go ahead without me, and then she didn’t show up. I called and called her cell, but she didn’t pick up. I had to take a cab.”
Before Tom could reply, Jane walked into the office, then came back out, her brow furrowed. “Her stuff is gone,” she said. “What’s going on?”
Tom cleared his throat. “Um… well, she had to cut her visit short.”
“Without letting me know?” Jane asked, walking over to the couch and standing behind it, folding her arms. “That doesn’t sound right. What did you say to her?”
This was not going well at all. Defensively, Tom countered with, “What makes you automatically think I said something to her?”
Jane rolled her eyes. “Come on, Tom, I know you can’t stand her. I know you hate her visits. But I figured you could at least be civil to her. Now what did you say?”
Tom’s mouth tightened, and he stood up and paced. “It’s not what I said, it’s what I did to her, if you must know.”
Jane’s face paled, and her voice was shrill. “Jesus, Tom… what did you DO?”
He turned to face her, his own temper rising. “Don’t take that tone with me—you’re making it sound like I cut her up into a million pieces and buried her in a Hefty bag.”
Jane put her head in her hand for a moment, then asked again, in a slightly calmer voice, “Tom, just tell me, what did you do?”
Tom took a deep breath. “Nothing that she didn’t have coming. If you must know, I put her over my knee and I spanked the hell out of her.”
Jane’s mouth dropped open and her eyes widened. “You didn’t. Tell me you didn’t.”
“I sure as hell did, and she deserved it,” Tom snapped. “She broke two of our best glasses, and I swear, at least one of them was on purpose. And she”—he cut himself off before he blurted out what else Lauren had done—“…she was being thoroughly obnoxious and rude to me.”
“So you brutalized her,” Jane said, her voice even, but her eyes snapping with anger.
“I didn’t brutalize her, I spanked her!” Tom yelled. “I don’t regret it, either! I was sick and tired of the way she prances around here, acting like she’s the Queen of the Manor, being snotty to me. And I’ll tell you what else—I’m sick to death of the way YOU act when she’s here, and especially after she leaves. You totally allow her to be rude to me, and after she’s gone, you’re in a crappy mood for days!”
Jane glared at him, two bright red spots appearing in her cheeks. “Oh, is that right?” she sneered at him. “I suppose you’d like to spank me, too?”
Her words shocked him, and he stared at her face. Before he could think, he heard himself say, “I will, if you don’t knock this shit off right now.”
His wife looked utterly horrified, then furious. She pounded her fist on the couch and shrieked, “You wouldn’t dare!”
Tom felt such a surge of anger, he had to turn away. He couldn’t believe this was his lovely Jane acting like this. What the hell was going on here? He raked his hand through his hair and willed his voice to be calm. “Don’t test me, Jane,” he warned. “I am SO not in the mood for it.”
Jane’s voice took on a sarcastic tone. “Ooooh! Big man. Big tough talker! I’m so scared!”
Tom looked back at Jane, took in her blazing eyes, the challenge in her face. He thought, If I don’t do something, right now, she’ll never take me seriously again. Feeling adrenaline rush through him, he strode over to her. “Fine—have it your way, honey,” he said, grabbing her arm, then bending down and summarily tossing her over his shoulder.
“TOM!” she hollered. “What the hell… put me down!” She squirmed and struggled, but he held on tight and carried her into their bedroom. Once there, he set her on her feet, sat on the edge of the bed and abruptly pulled her down across his knees.
“Oh, come on, Tom, you can’t… don’t! OK, you’ve made your point!” she cried, but he ignored her, held her down firmly with one arm and pushed her skirt up with the other. Then he began to smack her behind. Not quite as hard as he’d spanked Lauren, but enough to make an impression.
“Owwwwwwww! Tom, no! Ow, that hurts! Stop it!”
“Yeah, I’m sure it does,” he replied, not stopping. “You should have thought of that before.” He could already see bright pink color peeking out from beneath her lacy bikinis. She didn’t fight like a hellcat as Lauren had, but she protested loudly as the smacks rained down.
After several more swats, his right hand, stiff and bruised from spanking Lauren yesterday, began to ache. “Dammit,” he said, pausing. He looked around the room, and his eyes fell on Jane’s makeup table, and the hairbrush and comb lying next to the mirror. “Jane, get up, and go get me your hairbrush.”
“NO!” she screamed. “Tom, no, I don’t want to!”
“I know you don’t want to. Do it anyway,” he said firmly, giving her another very hard whack. She let out a howl, then scrambled to her feet and hastened over to the dressing table, picking up the brush. Then she turned back, slowly approaching him. Tom watched her, and silently held his hand out for the brush, but she clutched it to her chest. Gone was all her earlier bravado and rage. “Tommy… please…” she whispered. The brush in her hand trembled.
Tom steeled himself, tore his eyes away from her tearful face. He plucked the brush from her fingers and took her wrist. “Sorry, baby,” he said, pulling her back down over his knee, a little more gently this time. “Next time, maybe you’ll think twice before you challenge me.”
He pushed her skirt back up to her waist, and pulled down her panties. She moaned and cried out, “NO, Tommy, no,” and her hand flew back to her behind.
“Jane,” Tom said, keeping his voice measured. “You move that hand, right now. Don’t make me ask you again.” She began to sob, but her hand crept back to her side. “Good girl,” he said, and hesitated a moment before he brought the brush down, hard. She screamed, but kept still.
Tom slowly gave her bottom 40 hard whacks, 20 on each cheek. Jane cried into the bedspread, her hands balled into fists, but she didn’t fight him. When he was done, he put the brush down, and cringed when he looked at the angry crimson evidence of what he had just done. Gently, he ran his hand over Jane’s backside, hot to the touch.
“Janie… honey,” Tom said softly, caressing her back, stroking her hair. There was no reply; she lay still, her face buried, crying as if her heart would break. He eased her panties back up, smoothed her skirt down. “Please, baby, don’t cry,” he pled, gripping her shoulders and carefully pulling her upright. To his great relief, instead of pulling away from him, she turned and collapsed into his arms, weeping into his chest.
He held her close, rocking her back and forth slightly. “Shhhhh… it’s OK, Janie, shhhhhh…I’m sorry, I hated hurting you… shhhhhh.”
After several minutes, Jane stopped crying, but she didn’t move from his embrace. He continued to hold her, rubbing her back, listening to her sniffle, kissing her forehead. Finally, she pulled back a little, looked at him and gave him a watery smile. “I guess I kinda deserved that, didn’t I…”
Tom didn’t expect to hear that from her; he drew her close again. “Yeah, you kinda did,” he whispered in her hair. “But I’m still sorry.”
Jane sighed, then shifted on his lap, wincing as she did so. “I don’t blame you for letting Lauren have it, either,” she said, wiping her eyes. “I know she was a total bitch to you. And I shouldn’t have let her do it. I don’t know why I did.” She paused, then went on. “She always could get away with anything. I told myself that it was OK, she was so generous with me, and she could be fun when she wanted to be. Plus… I would sort of live vicariously through her.” Her eyes dropped and her face colored in shame.
Tom stared at her, his feelings wounded. “You mean, you’d rather have her life?”
“NO, honey,” Jane cried, grabbing his arm. “It’s not that… I love my life with you. I love my job. I love our place. It’s just that, sometimes…” She sighed again. “I envy her freedom, you know? To come and go wherever she wants, whenever she wants. She’s been on so many trips. I know we’re saving up for a house… but you know, we haven’t gone on a vacation in so long, and it’s hard for me when she lords it over me all the time…” Her voice trailed off and tears welled up again.
Swallowing hard against the tension in his throat, Tom said nothing, but held Jane tighter and waited. After a pause, Jane continued.
“I’d tell myself she was my friend, that she loved me, and I did have fun when she’d come. But she was constantly telling me about what I was missing, putting you down, telling me you were cheap, that you didn’t treat me well enough, that I deserved better. I’d feel myself getting mad at you, and then I’d feel guilty for that… oh, shit, honey. I’m sorry. It’s like… she was trying to sabotage us, or something.” She laid her head on Tom’s chest. “Please, please don’t be upset with me.”
“Shhhhhh, I’m not upset with you,” Tom said, squeezing her tightly. He was glad she couldn’t see his face or read his mind. That bitch, he thought. If only Jane knew just how much she tried to sabotage us. He chose his next words very carefully. “Honey…if she makes you feel that bad about yourself, about your life, then she’s not much of a friend, is she?”
He steeled himself, waiting for his Jane’s angry defense of Lauren. But all she said was, “No, I guess she isn’t. And she probably hasn’t been for some time.” She scrubbed her hands over her face, looked at Tom. “We’re not in college anymore. I guess I need to move on.”
Tom’s face remained impassive, but inside, he was fist-pumping and hollering, oh, thank God! He stroked Jane’s tumbled hair off her face, then spoke. “Sweetie, saving up for a house is a good thing, but we do have to enjoy life now. How about this—I know we both have vacation time coming. What do you say we take a little trip, just you and me, get away for a while? Anywhere you want. I think we could both use it, don’t you?”
Jane’s eyes widened in surprise and delight. “Tom, you mean it?” she cried. “Oh, that would be so great… are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure,” he said, smiling at her beaming face. She snuggled back into his arms, kissed his neck. “Thank you, baby.”
Tom slowly relaxed, feeling like things were going to be much better from now on, but one doubt still nagged at him. “Janie,” he said, hesitantly. “Are you sure you wouldn’t want to trade lives with Lauren?”
Jane raised her head from his chest and looked at him. Despite the traces of tears, there was mischief in her eyes. She caressed his cheek with her fingers. “Nahhhh,” she said softly. “Wouldn’t want to be her. Right about now, she has a really sore butt too. But she doesn’t have anyone to make it all better, like I do.”
Tom grinned, easing her backward onto the bed. “That sounds like a hint to me,” he teased. “Guess I’d better get to it, huh?”
Jane grinned back, and threw her arms up around his neck, pulling him down to her. “Guess you’d better,” she murmured.