She raced down the stairway with her gown held high,
blasting through the doorway into the lounge. There sat Ashford; her husband and life partner of nineteen years, lazing by the fire
wearing his favorite robe, planted heavily in his favorite chair; today's paper
in one hand, ivory pipe in the other.
“Ashford! Ashford!” she cried. “You answer me plainly! Are you having an affair?”
He looked up startled, nearly dropping the newly placed pipe from his moist lips (embers still intact) onto his favorite posh bear skin rug beneath him.
“Margaret my love!” He exclaimed. “Please remain claim.”
“Ashford a secret you cannot keep!” She bellowed. “So you tell me now, who is she?”
He adjusted himself, placing the pipe on the end table. “Alexandra Crim my love.” He answered.
“Alexandra Crim? That hound!” She shouted, clutching her bag in her fist.
“You mean “bitch” my love?”
“Oh, of all the ninnies to bed Ashford-” She said gathering herself mid-sentence. “Are we to divorce?”
“I’m not sure my love.”
“Well, I won’t have you soiling this families’ name on some floozy. What of Beatrice Blanc?”
“BB my love?”
“Yes, she’s well-mannered and respected, quite the lady, and the union would secure this family financially for generations. Not to mention she has the bum of a ripe nineteen year old.”
“Beatrice is twenty-three my love.”
“Case and point darling,” she retorted crisply.
“But Beatrice and I have nothing in common dear.”
“Oh Ashford, commonality?” she contested. “Are you a man?”
“Yes darling, I believe so.” He said nervously.
“Then your duty is to protect this family as a man should. Ashford, your sons and daughter; are you to discredit their lineage?”
“No my love.”
“Then I’d suggest you make this right. Has our time come? I don’t know what could have put you in such a mindset.”
“Well daring, the bedchamber has been rather dull of late.”
“Is that all Ashford? You seek excitement?”
“Well yes, you don’t…ahem, service me like you used to. My darling we aren’t getting any younger.”
“Is this the bases for your irrationality, a lack of excitement?”
“Yes, I confess my love.”
“Ashford Petty, I haven’t the slightest -- well I must say I’ve been a little preoccupied with family matters as of late.”
“Preoccupied, for six years darling? Our children are adults, their concerns are no longer ours, we’ve yearned for this day for years. We have nothing left but us, and the money, but that’s always been there.” He said with a smirk. “But you are right darling; BB is a far better choice.”
She stopped herself unsure of what to say. “Well is that where it happened?” she said pointing down by the fire, “On that very rug?”
“Where what happened darling?” he said placing the pipe calmly back into his mouth.
“The first time we-.”
His eyes glanced down to the fire lighting up in advantageous remembrance.
“It is my dear, some nineteen years ago, give or take a year or two; I believe I told you…’you smell pretty’.”
She smiled to herself in unrequested nostalgia.
“Well,” said he confidently. “Shall we make love?”
“Oh the thought!” she shouted. “To be so chatty Ashford, please show some restraint.” She said and then suddenly recanted. “The kitten’s already purring. I’ll be in the study.”
“Margaret,” he asked curiously, “The study?”
“Excitement Ashford?” she said with smoldering eyes while she unlaced her gown.
“Coming darling!” he answered quickly, the pipe fumbling from his lips and falling onto his, rather their, favorite posh bear skin rug.