“You look really tired today, mom,” Lisa told her mother as they entered Johnny and Lisa’s condo. “Are you feeling okay?”
Forcing a smile, Claudette turned back to look at her daughter. Clad in a tasteful blue t-shirt and a black pencil skirt, her blonde hair curled and bouncy, she seemed lighter, happier. Claudette couldn’t destroy her daughter’s mood with the truth. For now, she would have to protect her from what was really going on. “I didn’t get much sleep last night,” Claudette shrugged. Technically it was true, but the reason for her sleeplessness could afford to go unmentioned.
“Why not?” Lisa asked, concerned. “What’s wrong?”
Claudette barely even hesitated. It wasn’t as if she didn’t have dozens of examples of drama she could instantly call upon. “You remember my friend, Shirley Hamilton?”
“Uh huh,” Lisa nodded.
“She wants to buy a new house,” Claudette continued, rattling off the tale, “And so I asked Johnny if he could help her with the down payment. All he can tell me is it’s an awkward situation.” As she said the word awkward, Claudette brought her fingers up in an indication of quotation marks, mocking Johnny’s reticence to possibly go in debt in order to help someone he probably barely knows make a massive, life-changing purchase. Claudette wagged her finger at her daughter. “I expected your husband to be a little more generous,” she chided.
“He’s not,” Lisa hissed, “My husband.”
“I know,” Claudette conceded, starting to pace towards the sofa. “But Johnny is part of our family.”
“Mom,” Lisa stopped her mother, holding her shoulder as she directed her to look her in the eyes. “I don’t love Johnny anymore,” she said firmly. At her mother’s scoff, she continued, “I don’t even like him. I had sex with someone else.”
“You can’t be serious,” Claudette shook her head.
“You don’t understand,” Lisa groaned.
“Who?” Claudette clucked. “Who is it?”
Hesitant, Lisa fidgeted, shifted her weight and smoothing out the wrinkles in her shirt. “I don’t want to talk about it,” she finally replied.
“You don’t want to talk about it,” Claudette repeated, rolling her eyes. “Then why bring it up in the first place?”
“I don’t know,” Lisa sulked.
“You don’t know,” Claudette repeated her daughter’s words again before pointing an accusing finger at Lisa. “If you think I’m tired today, wait till you see me tomorrow.”
Wanting to drop the topic, Lisa asked, “Are you coming to the party?”
“Sure,” Claudette waved her hand dismissively. “I suppose so.” Still annoyed, her head held high, haughty, she turned and walked away, leading her daughter back out of the apartment.
The door closed, and silence settled over the condo. The small living space was dark and still. Shrouded on the spiral staircase, perched between the living room and the bedroom, Johnny hid, heartbroken. He had heard his future wife and her mother enter and had crept a few steps down, listening in. Prying hadn’t been his goal – he was only overexcited about his birthday, and knew there was some sort of surprise in the works. The fact that he knew Lisa and Michelle had been confiding about some secret, something that Lisa guarded venomously, had not played into his decision to eavesdrop at all, he had told himself as he waited and watched.
“How can they say this about me?” he wondered aloud. “I don’t believe it. I show them.” Johnny’s eyes narrowed with resolve. “I will record everything.”
He rose from his roost and descended the stairs into the living room, cold purpose running through his veins. Clutching an answering machine in his hands, his eyes never left the wireless phone sitting in its cradle on the table next to the framed portraits of spoons. Johnny yanked the wires out from the back of the phone, finding the connectors, before he carefully inserted them into the answering machine as if he was wiring the device up normally.
Pursing his lips, he made a few adjustments, rigging the machine to record any time the phone was used. He retraced his jury-rigged wiring again, making sure everything was in place, before he grabbed the empty cassette tape he’d been carrying in his pocket, arming the answering machine. He pressed a few buttons, readying the device, before slipping his set-up under the table, hiding it in the voluminous table cloth that draped down to the floor.
Smoothing out the table cloth and adjusting the picture frames, Johnny made sure everything was as it had been before he bugged the phone. Finally, satisfied with his work, he pushed a long tendril of hair out of his eyes and stood with a grim smile, slowly retreating up the stairs, putting as much distance between himself and his handiwork as he could.
There was a creak and a soft padding sound. The door opening and footsteps, Michelle recognised. Blinded by the silk tied over her eyes, she strained to hear, trying to pinpoint how close to her Mike’s bare feet were.
Another creak heralded the sound of a window opening to Michelle’s right. A few seconds later, the one on the left opened. It was a quiet night, only the sound of a few crickets chirping, but it was cool, and Michelle's skin was soon dimpled with goosebumps. She shivered, rattling the handcuffs that held her arms up above her head, fastening her to the wall. Where the baseboards met the floor, her feet were similarly shackled, holding her so taut she could barely fidget.
“Remember,” Mike said from somewhere in front of her, “The safe word is football.”
Through her blindfold, Michelle tried to throw her boyfriend a look of disbelief. “I think I’ll be okay,” she told him. “Don't worry about it.”
There were more padding footsteps and then the room went silent, except for the fauna outside. The wind outside picked up, bringing a gust of cold air into the room, caressing her skin with icy fingers.
A few minutes later, footsteps were approaching her again, this time accompanied by the sound of metal scraping on metal. The scraping sped up as it got close, and Mike paced around her, deciding where to start, drawing out the anticipation.
That was the worst part, Michelle thought, tensing, although a moment later she debated about whether it was really the best. She had no idea when – or where – Mike would start, no way to brace herself.
Another breeze whirled through the room, chilling her skin. As she shivered from the cold, she suddenly felt liquid heat drop onto her shoulder and then slowly sluice down her chest, over her breast in a thick, warm rivulet, and another, very different shiver went through her. The sweet smell of chocolate tickled her nose.
As the dark, molten chocolate made its way onto Michelle’s
stomach, another, wetter heat appeared just below, moving up as Mike dragged
his tongue across her belly, eating the chocolate off her skin. In soft little
licks, he tasted the path of melted candy, rising up to where it had flowed
over her breast.
Michelle had only been warm where the chocolate had touched her, in a thin line of sweetness, but now heat surged through her breast as Mike took her nipple in his mouth, sucking the chocolate away. A little moan of pleasure escaped her lips as Mike kept going, getting every drop.
Then it stopped. Mike’s mouth moved away, leaving Michelle standing cold and blind against the wall. Now, though, heat surged between her legs, and her hips almost instinctively swayed, searching for her partner. Michelle bit her lip, eager to continue, almost about to beg for more. Each second seemed to drag by.
Finally, she felt the hard metal of the ladle against her neck as Mike let a waterfall of chocolate drizzle down her body from just below her chin. The chocolate slowly oozed down, splitting into separate paths that etched their way to the floor. Even without Mike’s ministrations, the sensation of the wave of heat moving over her, caressing her, covering her, warming some places and leaving others exposed to the cold, was enough to get her moaning in pleasure again.
Mike’s mouth suddenly appeared again, hot and wet, this time on her shoulder. It was wide open, lapping at Michelle's candy coating as his hand slid through the thick, sticky chocolate covering her hips, moving to her ass, where he grabbed a handful of her skin, his fingertips digging in as he pulled her towards him. Still sucking the chocolate off her, Mike's mouth moved higher, up to her neck, taking mouthfuls of the sweetness. Taking a deep breath of the aroma, he nipped at the sensitive skin, and Michelle sighed, pressing into him as hard as the handcuffs allowed.