Word count: 500
B. A. Sarvey
He pulled up to the motel, almost hoping she wouldn’t be there. But her car was parked in front of number eight. He parked a couple spaces down. Besides the proprietor’s vehicle, the only other car, in front of seventeen, had out-of-state plates. “Mr. and Mrs. Jones” had chosen this place for the secluded yet convenient location, and no questions asked. Still, he looked all around as he exited his vehicle, twisting the ring on his left hand as he approached “8”, contemplating removing it.
Some co-workers bragged about playing around, playing games, but he’d never considered this kind of thing before. It had been her idea, sneaking away. Still, nervous as he was, anticipation began to jangle through him, from gut to brain and beyond, awareness heightened. “How will you get away?” he’d asked. “My mother will watch the kids. And my husband…is at work,” was her sly answer.
The door to number eight swung open as he reached it. She was wearing a lavender lacy thing he’d never seen before. His knees nearly buckled at the sight. “Sorry I’m late…I…I got tied up in a meet….” His words were muffled as she pressed her lips against his. She tasted faintly of strawberries.
“Thought maybe you’d lost your nerve.” She pulled away from him, pulled him toward the bed. He could see where his rough wool jacket had reddened her pale skin. Suddenly protective, he loosened her grip, fumbled to unbutton the suitcoat. His wedding ring caught in the buttonhole. She unbuttoned it for him, precise movements belying her urgency. Almost without knowing how he had gotten there, he felt the smooth sheets, cool against his feverish ardor, her warmth penetrating what remained of his reserve. Free and exhilarated, like he’d slipped back to his eighteenth year, his first time with a girl—shedding not only his clothes but his inhibitions and responsibilities, too—he abandoned himself to the moment, euphoria engulfing him, guilt assuaged by the knowledge that he pleased her, while ‘their song’ from their first time, lingered in his mind.
All too soon, the carefree façade was torn down by reality’s wrecking ball. “Gotta shower. Your scent—all over me. Told my boss I was seeing a client for lunch….”
“Mmmm. I am, aren’t I? Your lunch?” Her words, light, wispy, tickled his neck. “You worry too much.” She—pressing against him; He—trying to disentangle himself from her silky hair, her nakedness.
Sunlight playing across her face from the half-drawn drapes made her look younger, more vulnerable than she actually was. Made it harder to stop playing make-believe. Harder to leave.
“Go. I’ll straighten the room,” she murmured.
At the door, he brushed his lips against her cheek, tasting her again. ‘Thanks,’ he almost said, but didn’t. It would have cheapened the moment.
“Don’t be late for dinner, honey.”
“I should be home by six. That okay?”
“Good. The kids have a birthday surprise for you, too. And I’m cooking up something special for dessert.”