Late at Night

Discussion in 'KAW 14' started by Redhaired Mermaid, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. Redhaired Mermaid

    Redhaired Mermaid Well-Known Member

    Copyright 2019 by Redhaired Mermaid.

    Late at Night.

    Prologue.

    Anne curled up on the leather sofa in her office and turned off the lights. Everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours played endlessly in her mind.

    She let her eyes roam out of the window to the falling rain, wondering how she had let a man take her life apart so easily.

    That is what happens when you play with fire, she thought.

    You burn.

    Guilt was an emotion new to her, and she felt it burn through her blood like lava now. She had betrayed the one man she had promised eternal devotion to and if that was not enough, she had to come to terms with her new reality.

    She opened the small box in her hands and flipped open the emergency contraception pill.

    For a long moment, she just stared at it.

    Would it work and actually do what it was supposed to do?

    Did she really want to take it and rid herself of maybe the last chance she had to have the child of the man she loved grow inside her?

    She swallowed the pill, feeling her heart beat fast and her hands sweat.

    Get a grip, she scolded herself silently. Everything is going to be all right.

    Chapter One

    Four weeks earlier.

    Jack got out of the bed and walked naked toward the bathroom.

    “How about another round, baby?” the petite blonde spoke behind him, using what she thought was her most enticing voice.

    He did not even bother responding to her request. He felt drained, exhausted and that had nothing to do with having sex with a woman he had met less than a couple of hours ago. This was the kind of tiredness that came from deep within his very soul.

    He stepped inside the shower, turned the hot water on and let it run for a few minutes over his lean, muscled body. It did not do much, except rinse him clean of the salty smell of sweat and sex. His bad leg hurt like hell now with the cooler October days, reminding him that his combat days were over. Four minutes later, he wrapped a towel around his waist and returned to the bedroom where his guest had obviously fallen asleep, totally at ease on his black cotton sheets.

    His voice was cold when he spoke.

    “Get dressed; you need to get out of here.”

    The woman made an inaudible sound of protest but remained perfectly still. Jack walked closer to the bed and leaned over her head.

    “I said get dressed,” he snarled again, loud enough for her to register his command and start moving.

    “Jesus, don’t be a dick or anything,” the woman protested while putting on her black bra and panties.

    “I thought you’d at least have the courtesy to let me spend the night.”

    “You thought wrong,” he said, watching her as she slipped into her black dress and stiletto heels.

    He lit a cigarette and blew the smoke upwards. At thirty-nine, he was as good looking as ever. The number of scars and tattoos on his body apparently did not deter women from getting in the sack with him. Just the opposite.

    “Door’s that way,” he informed her when he saw her looking for the exit.

    “Bastard,” he heard her call him just as she was closing the door.

    Chapter 2

    Anne tossed and turned in her bed. She checked the bedside clock one more time. Ten minutes to six. John, her husband, had already left for work. She reached for her appointment book, opening it to today’s date. Nothing booked. She was not feeling particularly well since last night, her mild headache and sore throat suggesting it would be a wise move to stay at home. After washing her face and combing her long black hair, she took a moment to look at her reflection in the bathroom mirror while she slathered on her daily moisturizer. She noticed that her usually rosy cheeks were dull and her green eyes had a red hue to them, but at thirty-six, she still looked a lot better than most women her age. A minute later, she was pouring herself a much-needed cup of coffee. She was only halfway done when the doorbell rang.

    Whom could it be she wondered as she pulled her robe tighter around her and went to answer it. She knew that her next-door neighbors were out of town visiting relatives and the house next to her was vacant. Rent did not come cheap in New Haven, Connecticut but she already knew about the cost of living here before she and John had decided to move.

    When she opened the door, she saw a man about her age, dressed in black head to toe. His large frame towered over her small figure and it was evident from his posture that he spent a lot of time in the gym. A thick beard covered half his face but she would never have forgotten those milk chocolate eyes. Eighteen long years. That is how long it has been since she last saw him. She all but dropped her coffee when he spoke to her.

    “I’m sorry to bother you this early,” he said in his deep, velvety voice, confirming her worst fears.

    “I just moved to the house next door and realized I ran out of coffee. Would you be kind enough to lend me some of yours?”

    Anne stared at him as if she had just seen a ghost, her heart beating like crazy inside her chest. He must have taken her silence as an objection because he took a step back, ready to leave.

    “I totally understand if I’m causing you trouble,” he said his eyes locked on hers.

    He hesitated for a few seconds, and then she knew that he had recognized her as well.

    “Anne?” he whispered her name, disbelief audible in his voice.

    “Yes, Jack, it’s me,” she replied swiftly. “Come inside and close the door while I get that coffee for you.”

    He walked inside and looked around. The house was much larger than his was, although a bit messier. His eyes moved across the living room with the white leather sofas and the large marble fireplace. The smell of freshly brewed coffee mingled with the scent of flowers. His eyes wandered over a large pile of books stacked haphazardly on a corner of the living room wall. An assortment of pink and white orchids filtered the first rays of the sun, placed on a round glass table. She had not changed at all, Jack thought. She still immersed herself in fantasy worlds, breaking free of the mundane things of ordinary life. He envied her for that. He had not read more than a couple of books in his entire life.

    “Have a seat,” Anne told him as she opened and closed the kitchen cabinets in search of a small container to put the coffee in. All the while, she felt his eyes on her.

    “How are you, Anne? Are you married, have any kids?” Jack inquired, all proper etiquette aside, as he took a seat in one of the kitchen stools. She always loved that about him, she thought bitterly, his ability to speak his mind under any circumstances.

    “I am married, yes,” she answered mechanically, unable to believe that the man she loved her entire life was standing right there, inside her house.

    “John and I have our sixth anniversary this month,” she added a few seconds later but there was no hint of happiness in her voice. She avoided making eye contact with him any more than she had to while she filled up a small jar. Her mind buzzed with a million questions she wanted to ask but she kept her impulses at bay.

    It would be a lot better if she did not know anything about his current lifestyle. Finding out that he was happily married with two kids and another one on the way would make her feel worse than she already was. She felt herself choke up and her knees went weak. Taking a step backward, she leaned against the kitchen counter. He noticed her discomfort, his senses attuned with hers.

    “Are you all right, Anne? You’ve gone pale all at once,” he observed, standing up.

    “I'm fine, just a bit dizzy, that’s all. I must be going down with the flu.”

    “You never gave me the chance to explain myself that night,” he started but she knew what he was going to say and she did not want to go back there again.

    “What’s done is done, Jack. No point in bringing up the past.”

    He did not want to scare her away, so he did not push any harder.

    For now.

    “I have to go. Thank you for the coffee,” he said politely. “Please feel free to come to my house for a cup of coffee anytime. The door is always open for you,” he added and started walking slowly toward the door.

    It was then that Anne noticed that he had a slight limp in his stride.

    “What happened to your leg?” she asked nonchalantly, almost certain he was going to say he fell off his bike or hurt himself doing something wild like he used to.

    Jack turned around and looked into her eyes.

    “I was wounded in Afghanistan," he replied laconically and his voice had turned cold, distant.

    Anne had never felt more like a fool in her entire life. She walked closer to where he was standing and gently touched his arm.

    “I am sorry. I didn’t mean to be rude,” she apologized.

    “It was a long time ago,” Jack said. “I’ll see you around Anne.”

    With those words, he opened the door and was out of her house just as unexpectedly as he had entered it a few minutes ago.

    Chapter 3

    Jack went back to his house late that night. He had taken his Jeep and he drove for a long time, trying to clear his head. When he returned, he poured himself a good shot of tequila and sat on the living room sofa with the lights turned off. He could not believe that he had met her again after all these years. Emotions he had not felt in a very long time came back to haunt him.

    Sadness.

    Anger.

    Regret.

    He remembered how badly he had treated her. She had every right not to want to talk to him ever again. He thought back to when they first met, how smitten he was with her when he asked her to be his girlfriend. She had said no at the time, saying that she did not want to be another one of his conquests.

    She was smarter than he thought and she had noticed how all kinds of girls practically flocked around him. He clearly remembered how tenaciously he had pursued her until she finally had no choice but to succumb to his undeniable charm.

    He refilled his glass and turned on the TV. He had to stop thinking about her. She was a married woman now and she had made a life for herself. He remembered the look in her eyes and how soft her voice had turned after he told her about the accident in Afghanistan. He did not want her pity. He had managed to live with his demons night and day after he came back. His nightmares had subsided and his drinking days were over but the look in her eyes almost broke him.

    His thoughts ran back to the day he almost died, deployed on a rescue mission on Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. As an Air Force Combat Rescue Officer, he was trained for personnel recovery in the most adverse conditions. When the insurgents killed two members of his team with a single RPG round, he thought he would never make it out of there alive. He engaged the Taliban and killed at least four before he was shot down and left for dead. He spent fifteen days in the ICU with extensive damage to his left leg, a ruptured lung, several broken ribs and a bullet hole that went right through his left shoulder blade. She was all he thought about on those dark times, wondering if he would ever see her again.

    He was too arrogant to look for her though. It was as if he was punishing himself. That thought made him feel even worse as he emptied his drink and dialed a number he knew well.

    Half an hour later, a petite redhead stood outside his doorstep, falling straight into his arms and kissing him when he opened it.

    “How’re you doing baby?” she crooned in her melodic southern tone.

    “Come on in and close the door,” Jack growled.

    Helen crossed the room and went straight into the large balcony, looking at the bustling streets below.

    “What’s the matter, baby?” she asked. “Are you upset about something? I just heard of this cute little bar that opened. Maybe we could go there and have a little fun, what do you say?”

    “I already told you on the phone that I am in no mood to go out tonight. That’s why you’re here,” he snarled.

    “Tough day?” she asked in a soft voice in an attempt to calm him down.

    “It’s nothing,” he said, handing her a glass of wine.

    “You know you are a terrible liar, right baby?” Helen said giving him a mischievous smile.

    Helen was an old friend from his days at the base. She always had a crush on him and was always fun to be around, her sunny disposition a good distraction on his bad days. She was there for him during his drinking days, a shoulder to cry on and a selfless lover. His voice was softer when he spoke again, leaning over to kiss her delicate neck.

    “How about I make sweet love to you right here on this couch and later we order ourselves some pizza?” Jack suggested as he unzipped her short dress and brought his lips down on hers.

    “I’ve missed you,” she said when he broke the kiss a few seconds later to unfasten his belt and lower his jeans.

    Several hours later, while Helen was sleeping comfortably in his bed, he was wide-awake, thinking about Anne. It was near the break of dawn when he finally fell asleep and his dreams were of her naked body amidst his sheets.

    Chapter 4

    Two weeks later.

    “Are you ready Jack?” his sister, Catherine shouted over the loud music. She had come to visit him and she always stayed longer than she originally meant to.

    “I’ll be there in a minute,” he shouted back as he put on his faded black jeans and a dark blue shirt. He had forgotten all about his promise to go out to the movies tonight.

    Opening the door to his Jeep, he took one quick look at his sister who was fixing a loose strand of hair behind her ear.

    “Aren’t you all glammed up?” he said to her.

    “A girl’s got to look presentable, little brother,” Catherine replied, smiling at him. “Now, let’s go, or we’ll miss the start.”

    “You don’t mind if we pick up Helen on the way, right? She’s a big fan of horror films.”

    It was no secret that Catherine did not like Helen. She thought she was a promiscuous little thing and she hated the way she had men drooling all over her every time they went out together.

    “Not at all.” she lied. Who was she to judge whom her brother liked to fuck?

    “Are you two going serious?” she could not help but ask when she noticed how distracted he was.

    “We’re just friends,” Jack replied.

    Catherine knew for a fact that they were much more than that.

    “You know I don’t like her very much, don’t you?”

    Jack turned to look at her then. “And why’s that?”

    Catherine paused for a few seconds, looking for the right word. “She’s a bit…trampy, I would say.”

    “That’s quite harsh, don’t you think? What gives you that impression?”

    “It’s just the way she acts around men in general,” she replied, checking her perfectly manicured nails.

    “Not all women behave like you dear,” Jack said. “Some are free spirits and act wild from time to time. That is what I like about Helen. She doesn’t fit into molds.”

    “Well, then, whatever rocks your boat is fine by me,” Catherine added.

    When they arrived at the cinema, the movie had already started and they had a hard time finding three adjoining seats. Jack had barely sat down before Helen took him by the hand and dragged him out.

    “Follow me,” she said, holding his hand and walking toward the restrooms.

    “What’s going on?” Jack asked.

    “You’ll see.”

    It was clear to him that she was up to no good but he was in a good mood so he let her have her way.

    When they were alone in the ladies’ room, she hiked her tight fitting dress up her slender thighs to reveal black lace stockings and matching panties.

    “I wore these for you tonight,” she said, running her hand down his shirt slowly, then lowering it on the front of his fly and stopping there.

    “You know what we’re doing is dangerous, right?” Jack warned in an attempt to dissuade her as her hand rubbed his growing erection.

    “I don’t remember that ever stopping you before, baby,” she replied in a cunning voice as she brought her lips to his ear, slowly licking the edges and sending shivers down his spine.

    “Fuck me,” she whispered in his ear. “I promise I’ll be quiet.”

    A few minutes later, just as they were both getting out of the toilet stall, Anne walked in on them. Her eyes met his first and then she took a quick look at his date.

    Her breath caught in her chest and she felt her cheeks ablaze as she stormed off back towards the lobby.

    “Oops! Seems like we just got caught,” Helen sang playfully while she smoothed down her dress.

    “Get back to the theater Helen,” Jack snapped at her.

    He walked back towards the lobby, where he spotted Anne waiting in line for popcorn.

    “Can I speak with you please?” he said in a soft voice.

    Anne did not turn to face him.

    “I cannot even imagine what you would have to say,” she replied.

    “Please, can we just go outside for a few minutes?” Jack asked in an apologetic tone.

    “My husband is waiting for his order,” she answered mechanically, her contempt unmistakable.

    “I am truly sorry you had to see that, Anne. You are the last person I expected to meet here.”

    She turned then to look at him then, a look of pure disbelief on her face.

    “What you do in your free time is none of my concern, Jack. You do not have to apologize to me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go back inside.”

    “I want to see you again, Anne,” he said to her back, raising his voice just a bit so she would hear him.

    Anne stopped and turned around to look right into his eyes. “Your nerve has no boundaries. You just got out of her panties!” she snarled.

    Jack walked closer and stood a few feet away from her.

    “Let me show you I’m not the man I used to be,” he said in a low voice, instantly regretting his choice of words.

    “Oh, but you are exactly the same, Jack,” she retorted. “You and I have nothing more to talk about.”

    “Come by my place tomorrow night."

    “You really are unbelievable, you know? I am not the little girl you once knew, Jack. I’m married now, a fact you seem to forget.”

    He walked closer now and she was just within his reach. Her eyes were filled with fire.

    “Just look at me, Anne,” he said gently as he reached out to lift her chin so she was looking straight into his entrancing eyes.

    “I have been thinking about you a lot and I know that you have too. I can see it in your eyes,” he said earnestly.

    Anne was silent for a few seconds, her mind drifting back to their younger years.

    “Tell me I’m wrong,” he said and she turned her head away, avoiding his penetrating eyes.

    “Go on with your life, Jack and let the past be. What we had is ancient history,” she told him in a pained voice.

    “Please, Anne. Just give me a chance to explain myself, that’s all I’m asking,” he said in an almost pleading voice, tearing through her wall of defenses.

    “Leave me alone, Jack,” she managed to say before turning around and walking away.

    Chapter 5

    Back in the theater, Catherine noticed her brother’s long absence and went looking for him. She was just out the large paneled doors when she saw him talking to a well-dressed woman she had never seen before. It was evident from his body language that they were having an intense conversation. Turning back to her seat, she decided she would save her questions for later.

    When Jack and Helen both returned, Catherine stayed silent, wondering what had happened while they were away.

    “Well, are you going to tell me who was that woman, or do I have to make a scene?” Helen said.

    “Did I miss something?” Catherine asked, pretending to be unaware of what she had witnessed a few minutes earlier.

    Helen was quick to respond. “Your brother and I ran into a woman in the restrooms a while ago. He left me and went after her, completely ignoring the fact that I am his date,” she whined, her voice slightly higher now.

    “What’s going on Jack?” Catherine asked. “Was it another one of your lady friends?” she said deliberately.

    “No offense Helen,” she added a few seconds later.

    “Why don’t you both give it a rest, would you? It’s none of your fucking business,” Jack growled, loud enough to turn some heads and rouse several hushes from the audience.

    “Do you always have to prove what an asshole you really are?” Helen snapped. “We only get together every once in a while and you never miss on a chance to humiliate me.”

    Jack bolted upright and grabbed Helen by the arm, dragging her outside.

    “This is no place to argue,” he demanded as they walked together out of the movie theater.

    Helen tried to yank her arm free but his grip was viselike.

    “Let me go,” she snapped at him. “You’re hurting me.”

    When they were both in the lobby, he let go of her arm and tried to wrap his arms around her.

    “Don’t touch me.,” she cried, oblivious to the fact that she was making a spectacle of herself.

    “Come on, baby,” Jack crooned. “We came here to have some fun, don’t be so dramatic.”

    “Why are you doing this to me, Jack? Why don’t you tell me who she was? Are you fucking her as well?” she squealed while desperately looking inside her purse for a handkerchief to wipe her nose.

    “I’m so tired of all this, Jack. Sometimes, I feel like you are playing with me. There’s more to life than a good fuck you know.”

    Jack stood with her in the middle of the foyer listening to her rant.

    “I want to start a family someday, have kids. I won’t always be twenty-nine years old,” she finished, as tears ruined her makeup.

    “I never promised you any of those; I thought we were clear on that,” Jack told her in a deep voice. “Don’t make me the bad guy here, baby,” he replied, but he knew that he was being cruel and insensitive.

    “I don’t know what you’re looking for any more Jack. I thought we had a good thing going, you and I. You can be a heartless bastard at times,” she said and walked away, her high heels clacking angrily on the polished marble floor.

    After Helen’s departure, he did not bother going inside the theater again. Instead, he dialed Catherine on her cell phone.

    “I'm leaving. Are you coming or not?” he asked.

    “Can’t you just wait a bit, the movie’s almost over.”

    “I can’t fucking wait. Make up your mind, or I’m out of here.”

    Catherine muttered a silent curse, picked up her purse and stood up, walking toward the exit.

    When she met with him back in the car, he was already behind the wheel with the motor running.

    “Will you at least tell me what the hell happened that ruined our entire evening?” she asked.

    “I don’t want to talk about it,” Jack replied.

    Catherine pressed on, undeterred by his bad mood.

    “You know, I saw you touch her cheek at the lobby. You two have a thing going on. It was written all over your faces as you talked. Even Helen picked up on it, and she didn’t even see what I saw.”

    “I told you I don’t want to talk about it, Catherine,” he said again. “Now, drop it.”

    “I’ll just say one last thing. It is clear as day that whoever that woman was, she is way out of your league Jack. She doesn’t look like the kind you screw before you even learn their first name.”

    Jack knew perfectly well that his sister was right. He turned around to look at her for a brief second.

    “Don’t worry Catherine. Everything is under control,” he lied.

    Chapter 6

    Back in her house, Anne was getting out of her dress when her husband came closer and kissed her neck, wrapping his arms around her slender waist. John was a short man with sharp blue eyes and a thinning hairline, five years older than she was. When they first met seven years ago, he had wooed her with expensive gifts and sweet-talked her into marrying him a year later. After a year of trying to have a baby, the fertility doctors informed them that he suffered from azoospermia, a condition in which the semen contains no viable sperm. She was devastated by the news.

    Nothing they tried had worked and as years went by, the distance between them grew. He would not talk about it anymore and his decision made her feel left out and unheard. She was willing to adopt a child but he was adamant about it, saying it would either be his own child or no child at all. To this day, Anne could not remember other words that have hurt her more. She knew in her heart that John loved her dearly, he was a kind, and faithful husband but she felt that every day with him was the same as the one before and she wondered if that is how she was going to spend the rest of her life with him.

    “I’m tired, honey,” Anne was quick to say. “Maybe tomorrow?”

    He did not press her; he just sat back on the bed and turned the TV on, turning it on the most recent NFL games.

    “I really enjoyed the movie tonight,” John said. “We should do it again soon.”

    “It was way too bloody for my taste, honey. I would rather we went for the drama,” Anne said.

    “Our whole lives are filled with drama, sweetheart, don’t you think?” she heard him say while she was in the bathroom, brushing her teeth.

    When she lay in bed, she knew that it was going to be a long night. As John turned off the lights and wrapped his arms around her, Anne closed her eyes and imagined what it would feel like to be in Jack’s embrace as her mind went back to days gone by.

    Later that night she woke up sweaty, her heart beating fast as she remembered the nightmare she just had. Jack’s reappearance had brought back all the memories. When she saw him in the women’s restroom, after just having sex with a girl who appeared to be in her late twenties, she was shocked by his non-conformist behavior. He always had an aura of fearlessness around him, and she found herself inexplicably drawn to it.

    The following day she decided that she would go and talk to him. That would give him the chance to explain himself as he wanted and afterward she would tell him not to bother her anymore. John would be out of a town on a two-day accounting seminar in New York. That gave her plenty of time to pay Jack a little visit.

    She grabbed her umbrella and put her raincoat on. Two minutes later, she was standing outside his door. She pushed the doorbell and waited.

    No answer.

    She pressed the doorbell one more time.

    Just as she was ready to leave, the door opened and he appeared.

    “You came,” he said, looking at her.

    “Maybe you were right. Maybe you and I need to talk,” Anne replied, waiting for him to invite her in.

    “Come on in, Anne,” he said, sensing her uneasiness. “I promise I won’t bite.”

    She walked inside his house and her eyes took in the masculine space, the deep colors on the walls and the dark hardwood floors. Two black leather sofas flanked a large glass coffee table. A single ashtray, filled with cigarette butts clearly revealed a vice. Her eyes traveled to the gallery wall on her left, where several pictures were displayed. Curiosity drew her in and she walked closer.

    “Please have a seat,” he told her, pointing to the sofa.

    “I don’t intend to stay long, Jack,” she replied, looking at the framed pictures of him in military uniform among friends and colleagues.

    “I just came to tell you that I don’t like surprises and I hate playing games. Consider this your opportunity to say what you want to say to me and then let’s just continue with our lives.”

    Jack opened a cupboard and filled a glass with whiskey.

    “Can I offer you a drink?” he asked, watching her intently.

    “No, thank you. I won’t stay long like I just told you.”

    “Well, I’ll have one if you don’t mind."

    She watched him as he poured the amber liquid in a low glass. In the dim light of his own home, he seemed even more attractive than she recalled. His black shirt was halfway open, revealing an intricate tattoo she could not make out. Realizing that she was practically staring at him, she looked away.

    He crossed the room then, handing her a glass of lemonade.

    “I remember you always liked this,” he said in a soft voice.

    Their fingers touched as she took the glass and before she had a chance to speak, a deafening thunder echoed in the silence of the room and a minute later the power went out, leaving them in complete darkness.

    “Don’t you just hate this weather?” he said as she sat down on the plush sofa. She sensed him move across the room and return a few minutes later holding a lit candle. He placed it on the coffee table and focused his eyes on her. If she had any sense at all, she would have left when it was still time.

    She didn’t.

    “Tell me the truth, Anne,” he said softly, taking the seat opposite her. “Why did you come here tonight? I thought you never wanted to see me again.”

    Anne felt her throat suddenly go dry and her hands started to sweat. She reached out and took a sip of the cold lemonade.

    He could almost feel her predicament as he reached out and collected her hands in his.

    “Are you afraid of being alone with me Anne?” he asked gently, his eyes focused on hers.

    “Don’t be ridiculous, Jack,” she replied swiftly, but it was a lie and he saw right through it.

    She stood up, stumbled on something, and almost lost her footing before his arm reached out to steady her.

    “I should leave,” she said in a wavering voice. “Coming here was a mistake.”

    Jack held on to her arm, his imposing figure almost towering over her.

    “I have never stopped thinking about you, Anne,” he started. “I was an arrogant ass back then and I did not care that I hurt your feelings. I can’t imagine how you must have felt after we broke up but I’ll tell you the truth,” he paused for a second. “It took me a long time to realize how bad I treated you when you were nothing but kind to me,” he apologized.

    A flash of lightning illuminated his face as she looked into his eyes. The falling rain outside had graduated to a full-blown storm and there was no telling what time the power would come back on. She had to get out of there before she did anything foolish.

    “Let me go, Jack,” she said in a low voice.

    He released her.

    “I accept your apology but that does not mean it makes up for what you put me through. It is all in the past now. You should go on with your life and forget that we have met again. That is what’s best for both of us.”

    He moved closer and took her hand in his.

    “Do you remember what you told me before we made love for the first time?”

    “How could I ever forget?” Anne answered, thinking back to her first sexual experience with him when she had made him promise to always be honest with her.

    He had broken that promise.

    “I was cruel to you Anne. You were much better off with not having me in your life,” he admitted. “You have every reason to want to get away from me. But you should know this,” he said pausing briefly to make sure that he had her attention. “No woman has ever made me feel the way you do. When I almost died that day in Afghanistan, you were all I thought about before I blacked out.”

    “Please, stop,” she said, trying to break free of his hold.

    He did not let her go. He wanted her to know that he needed her forgiveness.

    “You still want me, baby, just as much as I do. Admit it.”

    He leaned towards her but she turned her head away, avoiding him.

    “What’s the matter, Anne?” he asked then, turning her chin so she looked into his eyes. “Tell me I’m wrong, and I’ll stop right now,” he said in his throaty voice.

    Anne felt her knees go weak and her heart beating frantically in her chest. Tears formed in her eyes and started falling down her cheeks.

    “I never regretted that you were my first one, Jack,” she started, unable to keep her feelings bottled up any longer. “I knew what I was getting into. I was not blind. I just wanted you to be in love with me just as I was with you. It hurt so bad watching you around other girls, always flirting with them.” She paused for a moment, to wipe her running nose.

    “That night at the beach…remember?” she asked and he nodded his head. “That night we had a fight. Then we made love. It was the only time we had not used protection.” She paused again and looked deep into his eyes, about to share with him what she had kept a secret all these years.

    “I had gotten pregnant that night. When I found out a few weeks later, I almost lost my mind. I could not eat. I could not sleep. I finally had to tell my mother. I was only eighteen years old, Jack. She stood by me, told me she would be there for me no matter what. I was admitted to the hospital a few weeks after that with severe bleeding. Hours later, my mother told me I had suffered a miscarriage. I did not know whether to be happy or sad.”

    Jack found himself at a loss for words for the first time in his life.

    “I never knew about any of this, baby,” he said softly while his hand moved up to caress her cheek. “I am so sorry you had to go through that ordeal,” he said again and Anne shivered under his warm touch, feeling as vulnerable as she did back when they were only teenagers.

    “If only I had known…” his voice trailed off.

    “We cannot change what happened, Jack.” She paused for just a moment. “It’s late. I should go.”

    “Are you happy with him Anne?” he asked just as she walked toward the door.

    She turned around and looked at him.

    “I’m living a quiet life, Jack. My husband takes good care of me,” she said flatly.

    He walked toward her and she took a step backward.

    “That’s not what I asked you, though, is it?” he said as she took yet another step back, her back now grazing the wall. Her answer did nothing to ease the fire in his gut, and he needed to look for the truth in her eyes. He closed the distance between them as their eyes locked. She could almost feel his body heat and she was sure he could hear her heart beating like crazy inside her chest.

    “I never thought I would see you again Anne,” he said. “I don’t know if you will ever be able to forgive me,” his pleading voice spoke and his words touched her so deeply, that she fell right into his arms.

    Chapter 7

    When he took her face in his hands and covered her lips with his in a tender kiss like nothing she had ever experienced before, her knees almost gave way. She struggled to keep her thoughts coherent while he parted her lips and kissed her with a passion so fierce, she could almost taste it.

    “I want you like I have never wanted a woman before,” he whispered, and she knew he was not lying this time. His throbbing erection lodged between her thighs signified his burning desire and she thought her heart would almost break. In the blink of an eye, her resolve melted away and she let her heart take charge as her body attuned to his.

    “Please, Jack,” was all she managed to say, like a plea for mercy. She did not resist him when he took her in his arms and carried her to his bedroom. He undressed her slowly, taking in the sight of her after all these years and when he expertly undid the fastening of her bra to reveal her full breasts, she saw what lust looked like by the look in his glowing eyes. The power was still out and the only light in the room came from the rising moon, a silent witness to their union.

    “You are so beautiful,” he whispered in her ear, sending shivers down her spine.

    His hands moved lower on her abdomen, pulling down the soft fabric of her panties as the breath left her lungs.

    His eyes moved across her naked body and she felt more vulnerable than ever before. As if reading her thoughts, he took off his shirt and unbuckled his belt, his eyes trained on her and her alone while she watched mesmerized as he unsnapped his jeans and slipped out of the stiff fabric. His body was like a work of art, all rough planes, and colorful tattoos.

    He knelt on the bed next to her and looked deep into her eyes, waiting for the green light, almost certain she would back down and run like hell. She surprised him by reaching out and running her hand along the large scar on his shoulder and then lower, to the hard bulge in his briefs, slowly feeling the aroused flesh. She felt her core clench as his erection grew harder under her touch.

    “Anne baby,” he only said as she took him in her mouth, tasting his desire. He reached down and moved her hair out of the way. He wanted to see this. He needed to see this. She was still as selfless as then. Giving instead of taking and he suddenly felt how awful she must have felt after their breakup. He did not have the balls to call her once after they graduated. Still, she was in his bed once again.

    If she had any sense at all, she would run like hell from the life he led and he would let her. If he had any sense at all, he never should have pursued her anyway. She was another’s man wife. As she threw caution to the wind, so did he.

    He decided to give her one last chance to change her mind.

    “You don’t have to do this Anne,” he warned her in a raspy voice, spreading her legs apart and moving on top of her. “I’m a selfish son of a bitch who only takes what he wants.”

    He could not say anything more. If he wanted to frighten her, she was beyond feeling scared at this point.

    “I want to. Please, Jack, make love to me.”

    When she felt the man she loved more than life itself, embed himself inside her body, all she could think about was how much she had missed feeling this way. Desired. He made love to her slow at first and after a few minutes, his thrusts became harder and harder until he climaxed a few minutes later and fell beside her.

    “Are you all right?” he asked.

    “Better than I’ve ever been,” Anne replied, a smile lighting up her face.

    The power came back on, just as he was tying a small knot on the used condom.

    “You have grown into a beautiful woman, Anne,” he told her as she put her clothes back on.

    “I bet you say that to all the girls,” she joked. “I have to go.”

    “I’ll call you tomorrow,” he said in a confident voice as she walked out of his bedroom.

    When she walked back into her house, she looked at the clock above the mantel. Twenty minutes to midnight. She checked her phone for any messages and found one.

    “My flight is canceled due to the weather. I will probably come home after dinner tomorrow. I will call you when I land. ”

    She read the text twice. It was obvious that John had forgotten that today was their wedding anniversary and the realization hurt. Their love life was close to non-existent and when they found the time to get together, the sexual act was simply procedural, devoid of any emotion. She could not even remember the last time she had had an orgasm. She thought of Jack then. How his slightest touch sent shivers down her spine and made her feel alive.

    Chapter 8

    The sound of the heavy rain woke her before the alarm clock went off. Five minutes to seven. She dragged herself out of the soft blankets, put her flannel robe on and walked to the kitchen to put the kettle on. She needed the jolt of caffeine in her bloodstream to be able to function properly.

    One hour later, she was in her office in the middle of a root canal. Her client was obviously a bit frightened of the procedure and she tried her best to calm her down.

    “It’s really not going to hurt as much as you think. Once the painkiller kicks in, I promise you won’t feel a thing,” she said to the middle-aged woman.

    As she cleared away the damaged pulp from the inside of the tooth, she thought about Jack and the way he had made love to her.

    It was official. She had broken her holy vows. Yet, she felt more honest and lighthearted than ever before. Lost in thought, she barely registered the ringing phone.

    “I’ll just be a minute,” she said to her patient as she grabbed the receiver of her office phone.

    “Hello?”

    “I don’t have your cell phone number and I thought I would try calling your office,” Jack’s familiar voice said.

    “I can’t stop thinking about you, Anne,” he continued. “I want to see you.”

    Anne held the phone closer to her ear as she focused her eyes on the woman on the reclining medical chair.

    “I will be here until three,” she told him in a business tone. “I am sure you know the address.”

    “I’ll be there,” Jack replied and then added. “By the way, I love that authoritative tone of voice,” he said and hung up the phone, leaving her restless and flushed.

    A few minutes after two, the bell rang and she pushed the button to open the door. Her last client of the day, a young college girl was just leaving and he held the door for her.

    As soon as they were alone, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her.

    “I couldn’t wait to see you again after last night,” he said when their lips parted.

    “So did I. What are we going to do?”

    “Oh, I have something in mind,” he said with a wicked smile as he pulled her toward one of the black leather couches, taking her lab coat off on the way.

    Chapter 9

    It was well after four when they were leaving her office that her cell phone rang. Without even looking at it, she knew it would be John. She hated not answering and wondered how much longer she would be able to keep her affair under wraps. John was a very clever man and she had no doubt that he would soon find out, one way or the other. She only hoped she would be able to tell him herself.

    Her affair with Jack would never have happened if she were truly happy with John, she thought bitterly. Jack made her see things differently and brought an array of emotions to her life. She knew that being with him would come at a price and she was willing to pay it at this point.

    That night, after John had fallen asleep on the living room sofa, forgetting all about their anniversary, she took her phone in the bathroom and looked at the message Jack had sent her.

    “I am still thinking about those little sounds you made when you came all over my tongue, baby. Can’t wait to do it again.”

    Her face flushed at the thought of him, lapping up her wetness as she came around his mouth, a pleasure so intense, she could not even describe it with words.

    “John is back. I’ll have a bath and think of you.” she wrote back and then went back in the living room to put more logs in the fireplace. She did not feel her phone slipping out of her robe’s pocket, or hear its low thud as it hit the carpeted floor.

    As she brushed her teeth, a few minutes later, getting ready for bed, John surprised her by lighting a cigarette and blowing the smoke her way. He was supposed to have quit smoking two years ago.

    His tone of voice was like nothing she knew when he finally spoke.

    “Where you planning on telling me or would I be the last to know?” he asked, holding her cell phone in his hands.

    Silence reigned for a few seconds as Anne realized that her secret had been exposed.

    For a moment, she thought about justifying herself but when she opened her mouth to speak she saw the disappointment all over his face. She could not lie to him.

    “I was going to tell you one of these days.”

    “You were with him yesterday while I was gone,” he said matter-of-factly. “And this morning when I called you on your cell phone and then at the office.”

    His eyes were cold and his voice harsh as he waited for her to admit her guilt.

    She bowed her head as tears filled her eyes.

    “I never would have believed that you were capable of cheating on me,” he accused her. “As it turns out, I’ve been a complete fool. He writes a good message by the way,” he said sarcastically. “I am sure he fucks well too.”

    Anne looked at her husband and wondered how they had grown so far apart in such a short amount of time.

    “Do you really think that fucking another man would be the answer to our problems, Anne?” he continued, unfazed by her tears.

    “I am really sorry John,” Anne started, keeping her distance. “Things have not been good for us for a long time now and you know it. You didn’t even remember our anniversary last night.”

    “Really, Anne? You are going to accuse me now, too? You know, the last time we made love it barely lasted five minutes and every time after that, you either had a headache or were on your period or you were sick. I sure hope that fucking him is worth ruining our marriage, Anne, because that is what you did,” he said, leaving her phone on the bathroom vanity.

    “You don’t have to be vulgar, John,” she said in a small voice.

    “You’d better not come back to me when he gets tired of you. You have made your choice and you will have to learn to live with it. I want you out of here by tomorrow night,” he warned and walked away, shutting the door to their bedroom with a loud bang.

    Anne took her phone in her hands and she was ready to text Jack when she saw that he had sent her a message she had not read.

    “We have a little problem, sweetie. I just found out that the condom has a leak. Should we be worried? Are you on birth control? Call me.”

    Anne read the text one more time, unable to believe that this could be happening. Her heart started beating fast and she reached for the nearest seat. She always relied on the use of condoms for her sex life and she never had any problems. She could not stay in the house a minute longer. She put a couple of things inside her handbag, grabbed the keys and an umbrella and closed the door behind her. She had to find an open pharmacy.

    Chapter 10

    Anne curled up on the leather sofa in her office and turned off the lights. Everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours played endlessly in her mind.

    She let her eyes roam out of the window to the falling rain, wondering how she had let a man take her life apart so easily.

    That is what happens when you play with fire, she thought.

    You burn.

    Guilt was an emotion new to her, and she felt it burn through her blood like lava now. She had betrayed the one man she had promised eternal devotion to and if that was not enough, she had to come to terms with her new reality.

    She opened the small box in her hands and flipped open the emergency contraception pill.

    For a long moment, she just stared at it.

    Would it work and actually do what it was supposed to do?

    Did she really want to take it and rid herself of maybe the last chance she had to have the child of the man she loved grow inside her?

    She swallowed the pill, feeling her heart beat fast and her hands sweat.

    Get a grip, she scolded herself silently. Everything is going to be all right.

    Chapter 11

    After a long sleepless night, the break of dawn brought a newfound agony. She had to see Jack and tell him what had happened. As she got inside her car and looked at her reflection in the rearview mirror, she knew that her affair had taken its toll on her. Her face was flushed and her eyes puffy. Her thoughts were all over the place and she almost passed right through a red light, the other driver’s honks jolting her out of her stupor.

    Fifteen minutes later, she was standing out of his door, ringing the bell. A few seconds passed before he answered but he kept the door half closed and she found that odd. She noticed that he was skittish and distracted, looking behind his shoulder and then back at her.

    “Aren’t you going to invite me in?” Anne asked in a demanding voice.

    “It’s too early in the morning Anne,” he replied flatly. “Can we talk later?”

    Anne realized at that moment that she was being lied to. It came as no surprise to her when she heard the high-pitched voice of a woman calling him back to bed.

    Her breath caught in her chest when she saw the guilt written all over his face. She turned to leave, but he caught her hand.

    “Let me explain, Anne. This isn’t what it looks like,” he said, feeling like the world's biggest jerk.

    “I cannot even believe how I could have been so naïve with you, Jack,” she said, storming off back to her car.

    Two hours later, she had packed all of her things in two suitcases and was ready to leave her house. Hot tears run down her cheeks as she thought about how her quiet life had been turned upside down. She should have seen that coming from a man like him. Why did she ever think that things would be different this time?

    Chapter 12

    Five weeks later.

    Anne stoked the burning fire in her family home with more logs and sat on the sagged leather couch to eat dinner. Her eyes wandered out of the window to the falling snow, bringing back unforgettable memories of good times with her parents. The day they both died in a train accident was a day forever etched in her mind, even though it was more than twelve years ago.

    She had barely put the first bite in her mouth when the doorbell rang. She looked at the clock above the mantel.

    Twenty minutes to nine.

    Who could it possibly be at this hour?

    She opened the door to find Jack holding a bouquet of red roses and a bottle of wine. Her heart almost missed a beat at the sight of him.

    “What are you doing here?” she asked in a low voice. “How did you find me?”

    “You should know a man would go to great lengths if he wants something.” He paused for a second, looking straight into her eyes. “May I come inside? I really need to talk to you.”

    She looked at him, trying to figure out why he was so intent on torturing her.

    “How much of a fool do you really think I am, Jack?” she demanded, raising her voice. “I am tired of your little games. I don’t want to be treated like a toy you toss away when you are done playing with it. I suggest you find yourself another woman to play with. You have broken my heart one time too many.” she finished, closing the door.

    Jack feared that she would probably kick him out, so he put his hand at the door, holding it open.

    “I am in love with you, Anne,” he said, his breath coming out hot in the frigid air. “My life without you is colorless and bland. I cannot concentrate on anything and I barely sleep at nights.”

    Anne just stared at the man she loved, wondering if she would ever be able to forget about him. She flexed her fingers and sighed deeply.

    “I don’t believe you anymore, Jack. I had a good life before I decided to throw it all away. You will get over it. It should be a piece of cake for a man like you.”

    “I don’t want to get over it, Anne. I broke things off with Helen right after you left that day. I was calling you for days afterward. You never answered any of my calls.”

    Anne was determined not to give in to his charm this time. She was determined to leave him standing there, in the freezing cold but then she made the mistake of looking into his eyes. She saw his pained expression and slumped shoulders. She felt that his words were coming from his heart. He was telling her the truth.

    She took a step backward and he walked inside, taking a seat next to the fire. His face was haggard and he seemed more distraught than she had ever seen him.

    “I haven’t been myself since the day we met, Anne. I know I hurt you but my life without you these past few weeks has been miserable. I am willing to do anything it takes to make it up to you.” He paused for a few seconds. “If you tell me you don’t feel anything for me anymore, I promise I will leave and never bother you again. But if you feel like I do, please give me the chance to do this right, this time.”

    Epilogue

    Anne did not speak for a long time. His eyes did not lie. Her own heart was jumping inside her chest, craving his tender words. The sound of the crackling logs was the only thing they heard before she finally spoke.

    “Make love to me, Jack. Please don’t tell me anything else. Just show me,” she said in a low voice. “Show me how much you love me,” she whispered and he went to her. She held his face between her hands and looked deep into his eyes. When after a while he sank into her wet heat as their bodies joined into one, she could not feel at the time that his climax had created a little life inside her that they would get to hold in their arms in nine months.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019 at 11:28 AM
  2. Al Harlow

    Al Harlow Well-Known Member

    This was a tale of many entrenched conflicts that each character had to battle. Not a simple undertaking. As a guy I wasn’t sure which man I wanted to ‘get/keep the girl’. So I felt I could only root for Anne.

    Anne seemed to have “settled” for John five years earlier. And then she repeats herself and arguably “settles” for Jack, her true love. There was a little “feel good” ending when two big conflicts are resolved; she gets pregnant and gets her true love.

    Very well written with many instances of getting caught. Thank you I enjoyed your story very much!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019 at 2:05 PM
  3. Chuckles the Clown

    Chuckles the Clown Well-Known Member

    I was able to envision every character in this story with crystal clarity, and all of them came across as utterly human. The sex was steamy, I especially liked the powder room scene. A pair of hopeless romantics caught up in a hopeless romance! Good job!
     
  4. Morbebanur

    Morbebanur Well-Known Member

    Nicely written story.
     
  5. Freethinker

    Freethinker Pervy Bear

    Not blowing my own horn, this was all @Redhaired Mermaid 's story from the start, and she developed the characters and told it very well. I look forward to seeing more of her stories here.
     
  6. RedCzar

    RedCzar Well-Known Member 2-Time KAW Winner

    I loved the story. I loved Anne. I didn't care all that much for her husband, but I can understand him. And Jack? Well, I understand he is the male lead and all, but I still don't care for him. The way he calls her "baby" all the time. You know he's that guy at every party trying to get in every girls pants. Then again, I know SO many girls who love that guy. They fall for him every time and he always turns out to be a jerk. I hope it works out for them, but I wouldn't be surprised if five years down the road she comes home with little Jackie junior only to find daddy in bed with the babysitter.
    BUT.. definitely a great story, as usual. You know I've loved all your work. (So glad you came here)
    And definitely fit the theme. Thanks for this submission Red.
     
  7. bistander

    bistander Well-Known Member Multi-CAW Finalist KAW Winner

    Thank you for all of the hard work you have to put into this story. You did a fine job setting the scenes, giving details and a nice amount of sex without over describing it. The storyline was well thought out.
    I noticed a few things that were probably just translation issues, and I think I saw a she he mix up, or two. Nothing serious there.

    In the future, watch out for the overuse of adjectives. I saw too many always, almost, practically, and the like. Also, keep an eye out for the use of the same word too close together. And my final suggestion, use dialog that doesn't need adjectives in the dialog tags. It's better to use said and let the person's words show the reader what they are feeling.

    From a story standpoint, I thought Ann's reaction at the movies was too strong considering they had just met again after more than 6 years and she's married.

    Please don't see any of that as criticism. You wrote a fine story, and I bet the more you write, the better you will get.
    Thank you.
     
  8. Little Miss K

    Little Miss K Naughty but Nice 3-Time CAW Winner CAW SS Winner

    This Caught my emotions and pulled them every which way. :confused:

    I feel exactly the same as @RedCzar . I wanted Anne to find happiness but I am afraid that this is never going to happen. Jack seems to really love her, but also seems to be the type who is never going to change. :(

    You had me as emotionally confused as Anne was herself during the first sex with Jack. I wanted her to run away but I was also thinking yes, do it! I didn't want her to cheat, but I could feel how much she wanted him. It is unusual for me to want infidelity but your writing is so good that you made me feel like it was okay. :confused:

    This is written very well. For someone who is writing English as a second language, I am sooooooo impressed. Far less mistakes than anything I have ever written. :)

    Here are two minor things that you can fix easily...


    This is on my list of possible votes. Thank you for a very emotional story. :)
     
  9. tcs1963

    tcs1963 Well-Known Member

    Very romantic and well written, thank you
     
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  10. Missrachael

    Missrachael Well-Known Member Queen of Cheshire

    Ooooh mixed emotions on this one. Let's start with the writing. Brilliant, clear character development and I was right there in the cinema and in the houses but I struggled to LIKE the characters!

    Jack was an arsehole and when he made his final pleas I just couldn't believe him! And that made me want to slap Anne!

    Bloody good writing, only a few technical errors and I enjoyed reading it. Just that last extra woman behind his front door took the edge off for me. I think this could be top 3 for sure
     
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  11. Missrachael

    Missrachael Well-Known Member Queen of Cheshire

    Yeah I got it was Helen but if that was my life, there would be no going back
     
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  12. Scottyb

    Scottyb Active Member

    What a great story. I could feel for Anne all the way through the story. Her pain, her happiness, her betrayal. It was all there. Very well written and a good read. Although it was long and the slow reader that I am it took a while but I couldn’t stop. I wanted to see what was going to happen next. Great job.
     
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  13. Mitchie

    Mitchie There's a new Sheriff in town! Staff Member Moderator CAW Finalist KAW Winner

    WOW...just WOW! Like Anne I hated and fell in love with Jack about 3 times through the course of this story. So beautifully written, and the implications of their love making was way more powerful than if you had meticulously described it. This is First Class stuff here my sister.
     
  14. Koontz

    Koontz Well-Known Member

    Excellent story!!! I definitely felt the emotion in this one. I wanted to hate Jack he was a real douche bag, but at the same time i felt sorry for him. I also felt Anne's and Johns pain. I know what its like to have a marriage slowly fade away. Hit me a little bit harder. Some times wanting what you really want in life is bad for you but in this case it worked out. Just goes to show any thing is possible. Again job well done!
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2019 at 12:00 AM
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  15. Kishan

    Kishan Member

    Great story, and you wrote it well.
    Definitely I felt like it was a rollercoaster.
    You did well getting the plot back and forth. I thought her husband would hear the truth from her but didn't guess he would find that himself.
     
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  16. IndelicatedDoll

    IndelicatedDoll ***Reigning CAW Champion*** CAW Winner

    This was filled with delicious conflict and you did a wonderful job setting up the high stakes for the characters. I loved the description of Jack. I understood why Anne found him irresistible. I felt her turmoil, her guilt and her loss. This was great!
     
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  17. Uncle B

    Uncle B Well-Known Member 3-Time CAW Winner

    I am not a fan of cheating stories and have not come across many that I have liked. I like this one a lot. The only reason for that is your use of character development.

    In The Sea Horse Inn, you made me genuinely care about Bridget and Richard. I couldn't wait to see them find happiness with each other. In this story... I can't stand any of them. Well... maybe Catherine, she didn't annoy me. So why do I like a story where I dislike the main characters? Let me explain.

    You make your characters come alive. Each of these people become real to the reader, and just as in real life, some people you like, and some you don't. I have known many "Jacks" in my life. The guys who all the girls love and think they can change, but in the end, they never do. Ever. These guys claim to have fallen in love, then six months later they are cheating, and wondering why they can't find happiness. In walks another "Anne" just setting herself up as the next contestant.

    In creating such believable characters, you also open the door for some unintended results. The characters take on a life of their own and can take the reader in directions you never intended. You had an idea in your head about the ending of this story, yet without changing a single word, 100 readers can see 100 different outcomes. Because Jack, Anne, John, and even Helen have become real, you as the Author can no longer control them. A fan of Jack can see this as another conquest. Someone who loves Anne can picture a happy ending. A cynical asshole such as myself sees something entirely different...

    Two years from now John has learned a valuable lesson about cherishing what you have and to never take it for granted. Anne is a single mother who has found out the hard way that all too often someone who cheats ends up hurting themselves more than anyone else. And each month that Jack has to write that child support check he is reminded what a womanizer and jerk that he is. (Though he will likely be in bed with some hot woman who wants to change him later that same night.)

    I am pretty sure this is not the ending you saw at all, but with your use of character development, these people can live whatever lives the reader can imagine.

    These people suck, and I'm happy they all got what they deserved. I also hope that you understand that this is meant as a huge compliment.

    Very good work! This definitely has a vote from me.
     
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  18. Redbeard1031

    Redbeard1031 Well-Known Member

    WOW! I have never read a story where I have become as connected to all the different characters who were in this story. You have the amazing ability to make every character become very real. We all know someone who is exactly like each of the characters and that only makes the story even more real to the reader. You came here as a new writer to the site and have rapidly grown to be one of my favorites in a very short time. I want to thank you personally for making my time reading here time well spent.
     
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