Wednesday, February 15, 2017

12. Perfectly Clear

By the time they left the “adult” store, Tony’s face would hurt from too much laughter.  His wife was ridiculously easy to embarrass, and he was having a hell of a time doing just that.  One little smack on the ass with a riding crop and her face was as red as a baboon’s butt.  Asking her which handcuffs she preferred resulted in her abandoning him for the tamer lotions and potions area of the store.

That worked for all of a minute, until he sidled up and asked whether cherry or chocolate would taste better on his dick.  The immediately follow up to that was how he thought maybe the whipped cream might be a nice addition to her pie. 

Eventually, enough was enough for the feisty Southerner.  Lilah squared her shoulders, tiled her chin and stared him dead in the eye.  “Keep it up and you’re going to need a lifetime supply of pocket pussies.” 

He’d laughed so loud that people around them turned to look. 

“You ‘bout done?” she asked cheekily, obviously quite pleased with herself. 

“No, but I’ll try and restrain myself,” Tony compromised with a wink.  “A little.” 

Her ponytail swished with the exasperated shake of her head, but she was still sporting a grin.

“Okay, Bluegrass.  Seriously.  Is there anything in particular you want to look at?  Leather, chains, feathers, costumes?  Butt plugs, vibrators, dildos, trapezes?”

Her cheeks went a shade darker, but she put on her brave face.  “I just wanna look.”

And she did. 

They strolled through the inflatable penises, the vast selection of “self-pleasure devices”, including those that would open all of a woman’s doors at once.  Tony maintained incredible self-restraint and kept his mouth shut, mostly because it was more fun listening to her murmuring “oh my word” and “you’ve got to be kidding”, and watching her try and be inconspicuous about the things that interested her. 

“You want one?” he asked as she nonchalantly went past the same display for a third time, pretending not to stare at the merchandise.

“What?”  Her head came up and she was the picture of innocence.  “You mean these?”

He just chuckled to himself and let her play her game.  “Yeah, those.”

She reached out to pick up the clear plastic package that had captured her interest and flipped it over to look at the back.  There wasn’t anything there of importance, so she went back to the front and he could see that it was a set of duo-tone balls. 

“I… might.”  She chewed on her lip indecisively before looking to Tony.  “You know anything about these?”

“Baby, I was twenty years old when Jon hit it big.  I’ve spent most of my adult life on tour, which means I know something about everything in this store.”

Big eyes blinked up at him, a hodgepodge of thoughts ricocheting around in their depths.  He’d meant it to be kind of funny, but when she did nothing more than look at him, he feared that what he’d really done was stick his foot in his mouth. 

“What do you wanna know?” he pushed on, hoping like hell he was wrong.

“Mm.”  She held onto the package that held two good-sized metallic purple ball,s and moved to the adjacent display.  “The list of things I want to know right now is too long to get into.”

“Why don’t you give me the high points,” he requested, coming to stand close behind her. 

She cast a sideways glance at him over her shoulder.  “Duo-tone balls, why I can remember the first time you called me baby but not the last, and why you thought that tour comment was helpful since you’re gettin’ ready to go on another.”
Yeah, you definitely stuck your foot in your mouth.

The minefield was restocked and open for business.  Tony knew he’d do well to tread carefully and, to that end, he selected the least confrontational of the things she had listed.

“The balls, uh…  They’re a ball inside a ball, kinda.  You put ‘em up inside you and, when you move, they bounce around and vibrate against your womb.  Internal foreplay.”

“Thank you.”  Lilah plucked up another package, this one a big vibrator with a second stimulating extension on it.  “Did you get what Matt wanted?  Because I’m ready to go whenever you are.”

On the outside he remained casual, but on the inside he sighed.  “Matt can get his own.  Let’s go.” 

They went to the counter to pay for her purchases, where the cashier was a young guy who was twenty-five at the most.  His nametag read Justin and he greeted them both with a friendly nod before taking Lilah’s items. 

“I’m sorry,” she apologized to the clerk and leaned toward him.  “Would you mind if I took a look at your tattoo?”

“Nah.”  The kid smiled and offered his left hand for her inspection. 

Wondering what had caught her attention, Tony leaned in to take a peek himself.  What he found was that Justin had ink on the ring finger of his left hand – a wedding ring of sorts – with “Chelsea” scripted into it. 

“That’s very nice,” she admired, offering him a smile.  “I’m sure Chelsea appreciates your extra show of commitment.” 

“Thanks.”  The kid was grinning like a proud papa.  “We got matching tattoos when we got married last month.”

They’re idiots.

The rest of the purchase was uneventful, except for the fact that Justin was required to test the vibrator and make sure it was in working order before leaving the store.  He got it turned on just fine, but Lilah had to quietly instruct him on how to turn it off.  It was priceless.

“So...”  Tony put the key in ignition without starting the car and looked at his wife.  “We gonna talk about this now or later?”

“Mm.”  She turned to put the plain brown bag in the back seat.  “What did you think about his tattoo?”

Cue the convenient change of subject.

Tony shrugged and casually remarked, “I think he’s an idiot.  Inking your wife’s name on you is just begging for a divorce.”

“Why’s that?”

“That’s what always happens.  Ask Richie.”  Richie Sambora, the eternal romantic, who had his wife’s name engraved on his bicep.  One ugly ass divorce later, Heather’s name was now a patch of roses and, seeing as Lilah had been a Richie girl, she knew it as well as Tony did.

His wife frowned thoughtfully.  “I sort of thought the wedding ring tattoo implied a more permanent commitment.  You can turn it into a patch of roses, but you still have a permanent ring.”

“Why are we talking about the porn store kid’s tattoo?”

Lilah shrugged.  “Just makin’ conversation.”

“You wouldn’t rather work on that list of things you wanna know?”  He offered, viewing this much as he would splinter removal.  Pulling it wasn’t going to be much fun, but it was going to fester if he didn’t.

“I dunno that there’s much point in it,” she demurred.  “Knowin’ when and why you stopped usin’ endearments with me isn’t gonna change it.  Just like talkin’ about your former tour life isn’t gonna stop you from goin’ again.”

What the hell was he supposed to say to that?  Because God knew he didn’t want to delve into either of those, but there was that whole splinter thing.  If they didn’t do it now now, there was every chance in the world that they would still talk about it later – after it blew up in a festered mess.

“You said you remembered the first time I called you ‘baby’,” he coaxed.  “When was it?”

Her mouth curved upward in a melancholy smile.  “Dublin.  Our first dinner date.  You remember that pub?”

“The Brazen Head,” he supplied. 

“Right.”  She nodded, reminiscing, “You wouldn’t quit callin’ me Bluegrass, so I said I was gonna call you Jersey. Next thing outta your mouth was, ‘I’ve been called worse than that, baby.’ You just tacked that on the end like it was the most natural thing in the world, and it had me shiverin’.”

“That’s not what I remember about that night,” Tony revealed, when her recollection stirred up his own set of memories.  “What I remember is the way you were so vocal about enjoying your food and that damn cheesecake.  I just knew my dick was gonna bust out of my pants if you didn’t stop moaning like you were about to have an orgasm.”

“It’s… been a long time since those days.”

He lifted a hand and extended it to brush the hair back from her cheek. “It hasn’t been that long.”

“Feels like it.”  Her tone was somewhat distant, but she leaned into his touch and he stroked his thumb along her cheek.  “Do you know much I hate the thought of you goin’ on tour?”

No, but he had a feeling he was about to find out, and he had to find a way of limiting this to pertinent details.  If he didn’t, there was a better than average chance of it becoming a Tony bashing session.

“Is there something specific?”

“Mm.”  She reached up to catch his hand and hold it in hers, lacing their fingers together on the console between them.  “Mostly that I can’t go.”

Considering the end of his last tour and how they’d met, Tony had expected this was going to crop up at some point.  Too bad he didn’t use that foresight to have an appropriate response for when it did.


“Don’t,” she requested quietly.  “Don’t tell me that it’s tedious and tiring, or that you’ll be working all the time, because I know exactly how it is.  I was there and my memories of that time…  Well, they’re the best I could ever hope to have.”

“Those are good memories for me, too, but it isn’t going to be like it was then,” he tried to tell her.  “Hell, the band isn’t like it was then.  I’m not sure you’d even enjoy the shows.”


Tony sighed.  Despite the financial freedom it represented, it wasn’t like he was overjoyed about this excursion in the first place.  Nor was he suffering amnesia.  He remembered how much better her presence had made life on the road.  Whether it would still be that way…  Well, they’d never know.  It just wasn’t feasible with two small children.

“Listen, since all this just happened, I have no idea what the schedule looks like.  He usually starts in the States for a while, so I’ll be home pretty regularly at first.  He also has a thing for Europe in June, which means we can see about you bringing the kids over for their birthdays.   Maybe even work out some time where they stay with grandparents and you come by yourself.  We’ll make it work.”

Lilah looked at him, forcing a smile and speaking confidently.  “I’m sure we will.  You do what you need to do and I’ll do what I have to do.  When all is said and done, it’ll be fine.  My pity party’s over.  Dorothea has survived, and I will too.”

“I never questioned that for a minute.”

That wasn’t just a line, either.  Lilah could do anything she set her mind to.  After all, she’d defied any and all opposition to come trail around Europe in hopes of getting to talk to him, hadn’t she?

“But let me tell you somethin’.”  Her eyes went hard, and her fingers tore away from his so that she could plant one of them in the center of his chest.  “There are areas in which I’m nothing like Dorothea.  Yeah, my self-respect can be sketchy at times, but there is one definitive line.  If I get the first inklin’ that you’re leavin’ your weddin’ ring in the room – or wearin’ it for that matter – while you screw around out there, you will come home to an empty house.  Are we perfectly clear on that?”

Oh hell, no.  He was not going to be scolded for something she thought he might do.

“Don’t act like I’ve given you a reason to question my fidelity.”

Her eyes shot daggers at him.  “’We need a break from each other’ ringin’ any bells?  And how the hell am I supposed to know what prompted the decision to go, seein’ as you didn’t bother to discuss the first word of it with me?  For all I know you’re takin’ advantage of another opportunity for no strings sex.”

She was throwing their original arrangement up in his face.  Enjoy their time together while it lasted and go their separate ways.  It had been a great plan until they fell in love.

“Alright, listen up and listen good because I’m not going to spend the next year battling your vivid imagination.”  Tony captured her chin between his thumb and forefinger, leaving her unable to look away.  “I am fifty fucking years old, not twenty.  I am a man who respects the commitments he’s made and the woman he’s made them to.  As long as you and I are married, there will be no other women.  Are we clear on that?”

She tried to dip her chin with a nod, but he still held it firmly in place so she simply said, “Yes.”

Not good enough.  He wouldn’t tolerate this bullshit becoming a recurring theme. 

“No, I mean really fucking clear, because I am not having this conversation again.  You don’t get to ask pointed questions once a week trying to get me to confirm my faithfulness.  This is it.”

“Alright, then.”  New resolve infused her eyes.  “If this is it, then I deserve it all.  Tell me.”

He released her chin with a sigh of disgust, and got up in her face until they were nose-to-nose.  “What do you want me to tell you?” he mimicked her words from the night before.  “That you’re mine?  You goddamn well are.  That I’m yours?  I am.  That I love you?  I do, even though you make me friggin' nuts.”

“Well, you make me friggin' nuts, too,” she fired back, and then lowered her voice.  “But nuts with you is still better than anything else I’ve ever known.”

“Then fuckin’ well say it.” He deserved it as much as she did.

“You’re an ass, you know that?”  Coming from most people that would be an insult.  Lilah, though, spoke it as though it was an endearment.  Her head angled slightly so that their lips brushed together when she added, “But you’re my ass and I love you.”

Damn right.

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