by Wayne WIlkes
What will one do, or not do, for the one they truly love?
|Title: Cautic Bastard
Word count: 1,852
Author: Tim Wilkinson
The last few miles to the cabin wound aimlessly through the thickly wooded, tree-covered hills of the Ouachita's. Wayne Lloyd, steering the vehicle through the towering, vertical stands of pine crowding the snakelike meanderings of the narrow blacktopped road, seemed absorbed in the quiet beauty of his surroundings. While his coworker and companion, Laura, fidgeted with untempered excitement, the enticing fragrance of piney bows, dew dampened leaves, and the earthy aroma of wood smoke filling her racing thoughts with eager anticipation. Her thoughts, racing forward, painting her fallow imagination with seductive images of polished oak furnishings, loose fitting robes, and chilled, bubbly wines expectantly sipped before a crackling, stone-lined hearth.
Turning to her left as the car sped on, Laura caught Wayne's eye as he coaxed the aging, dust-encrusted SUV through the shade shrouded lanes towards their rapidly approaching destination. Sighing with satisfaction at the sight of his smiling face, she giggled carelessly as he tossed her a contented, knowing wink. Her heart, giddy with the hopeful prospects of the next few days and nights yearned eagerly for the freedom and seclusion promised by their impetuous getaway to the secluded mountain retreat. Reaching over she found Wayne's right hand resting alone beside the center dash and took it into her own. Shivering at the willing response of his firm but gentle grip, she leaned back in her seat, closed her eyes and dreamt of things to come.
"Yes," she thought. "The next few days will be memorable, even legendary. I'll make sure of that".
* * *
Later that night as the two of them swam in the warming glow of the flickering flame, each resting in the fading flush of their own spent and sated emotions, Laura spoke, breaking the placid surface of the snug, satisfied silence upon which they drifted.
"Wayne," she began. "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure, but whatever it is, the answer is---yes!"
"Flirt," she chided.
"No dear, we're well past flirting. Didn't you get the memo?"
"Oh, I got it all right, twice."
"That makes two of us. Care to go for three?"
"Actually, I've always thought five a good round number."
"Five! Well, you better find some help then, or else you'll be stoking that fire all by yourself. And judging by the way that young man at the cabin office ate you up with his eyes, I'd say he'd be willing to give you a hand---or something. I'm not as young as I used to be ya-know. So how do you feel about long, old man naps? Sounds as if I'm going to need a few."
"Don't worry, you old codger, I'll see to it that you get everything you deserve. You have my word. Now can you be serious for a moment? I want to ask you a real question?"
"Sorry, just basking in the joy of the moment."
"Yeah? Me too. Which is exactly why I want to ask you now, while you're still under my influence and in such a frail and weakened state."
"You sound pretty sure of yourself!”
"Oui Monsieur, do not doubt my resolve. For as long as I keep you in this bed I am in complete control."
"Then I surrender Mademoiselle. My fate is in your hands. What is it you seek?"
"Well, I want to know…" Laura began, pausing nervously. Then pulling Wayne closer, pressing her modest but impressively sculptured breasts against his chest she drew her face up to his, gazing eye to eye, and continued. "I mean, I want to ask you…" she continued, pausing once more and averting her eyes.
"What is it, baby?" Wayne prodded, suddenly concerned with the severity of her tone and expression. "What do you want to know? With you I'm an open book. You should know this by now."
"Yes, I do. I think I do anyway. But…"
"Come on babe. Spit it out or swallow."
"I'm trying. I'm just a little---a little afraid, that's all."
"Afraid? Of what? Me!"
"No, of course not. More of myself and of us. But mostly of what I might do or say, like I’m doing right now, and of what may happen because of it. You see, what I want to ask is. I mean what I need to ask is---why did you get married?"
"Why did I get married? Laura, I thought we agreed that we would leave certain things off the table, for now."
"Yes, I know we agreed. And—to be honest, I lied about that. I can't leave shit like that off the table. Not after all we’ve---shared."
"Yes I am." she cooed, palming his cheeks with her lean, long-fingered hands. "So can you answer me?"
"I‘ll try. Why did I get married? Well, why does anyone get married, Laura? I mean, isn't that a rather obvious question. Or rather, isn't the answer?"
"Actually no, it's not. People marry for a lot of reasons, some good and noble, and others, well not so much. So tell me, why did you?"
"You really want me to answer that?"
"I do, very much."
"Okay then, my answer would have to be, if put bluntly, that I married out of loneliness."
"Really? Wow. That's---um, that's interesting."
"Interesting is it? You sound almost relieved."
"I am, sort of. So you were really that lonely? Seems unlikely somehow, you lonely I mean."
"But I was, very. And had been for a long time. Why is that such a stretch?"
"Oh, I don't know. It's just that you've always been so kind and affectionate, so caring, tender, and considerate with me, that I have a hard time picturing you as lonely. Not that you being alone is so strange or anything, only that I don't understand how that happened. How you weren't snatched up by every unattached floozy that came along."
"Boy, are you confused."
"Am I Wayne?"
"Yes, and then some. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my share of evil cunts, but loose and fast never had much use for me. Trust me, women aren't and never have been falling off their bar-stools trying to get to me, I assure you. No, I’ve never been Mr. popular, charming, and delicious, not in this life!"
"You are to me."
"And thank God for that. But be that as it may, that has never been my reality. In fact, the truth couldn't be more distant. You obviously have me confused with someone else."
"Is that the only reason?"
"The only reason for what?"
"The only reason that you got married?"
"No. I mean, really Laura. Things are never black and white, are they? You've been around long enough to know that. The whole world, much less people’s wound up hearts and throbbing unmentionables are nothing if not shades of dingy, turbid gray. Like you said, people get married for a variety of reasons and I doubt if anyone gets married for only one."
"Then what else, why else? Tell me."
"Okay, how about the fact that I was just plain ole tired of living alone, of doing everything alone; of seeing movies alone, eating and drinking alone, doing my household chores and working in the garden alone, waking up and going to sleep alone---masturbating alone. Hell, I was tired of doing anything and everything you can imagine, alone. I wanted a friend, a partner, and a helper. Don't we all, eventually? I know I sure did."
"Yes, I guess most people would agree with that. I suppose I do too. So what else?"
"Well, there's always…"
"Ah, nothing. Never mind," Answered Wayne rather meekly, thinking better of his verbal slip.
"What? Tell me, please."
"No, you'd just laugh at me. Besides, it's---it's kind of stupid really. Forget it."
"No, I won't forget it. Now you tell me right now or else they'll be no more shake and tickle for you."
"Promise you won't laugh?"
"Cross my legs and open your fly."
"Just remember I told you---it's stupid, okay? Well, one of the biggest reasons I got married, aside from the lonely part and the wanting a companion part, was, honestly---Sex. I wanted sex, sex without sin. And there it is"
Laura lay silent a few moments, her lips quivering ever so slightly. Then turning away she closed her eyes and held her breath until suddenly, without warning and with the air bursting from her lips in a spittle rich, exploding rush of mist, she broke out laughing, her audible contortions loud, and raw, and clear. Wayne, his face now a portrait of pouting, embarrassed, surprise yet finding himself unable to maintain the slight, soon joined in as the two of them rocked in breathless amusement for several long minutes.
"Sex without sin, you", she spat, gurgling with delight.
"Yep," sputtered Wayne, his chest heaving and his sides threatening to cramp. "Downright stupid, considering. Don't you think?"
"Stupid? Hell no, it hilarious. You got married for sex without sin, and you've been screwing my brains out for the last six months. That's a fucking riot Wayne, a fucking riot. Sad, fucked up, and pathetic, but a fucking riot all the same."
"Well, I didn't know"
"You didn't know what?"
"I didn't know that there is no sex in marriage."
With that, Laura stopped laughing. And again, cupping Wayne's face in her hands she asked, "Then can I ask you one more thing?"
"Yes, and only one more."
"Okay then, shoot. But only one."
"If you and your wife were…I mean if you and her---if your marriage ended that is."
"If you and your wife split up, or something happened to end it, would you want to, or would you---marry me?"
"Would I marry you?"
"Yes, would you?"
Pausing for only a second, his answer forceful and direct, Wayne said, "No!"
"Not only no, but hell no!" he added.
"Why---you caustic bastard. Why not?"
“Thought you said only one, more question”
“I lied about that too.”
“There seems to be a pattern here, and not one I’m particularly fond of.”
“Stow it, and answer me! Why would you not marry me, Huh?”
"Because I couldn't do that to you."
"Couldn't, you mean wouldn't!"
"No, I wouldn't."
"And why the hell not, asshole? Seems I'm good enough for your bed, all right. What is it then? Am I not good enough to take home to your Mumsie, or to be seen in public with? What, I can have your bone but not your name. Is that it?"
"Don't be silly. I have no family, you know that. And if I did they'd sure as hell not dictate whom I saw, nor when, nor why. As for being seen in public with you, Laura, I'd be the proudest man in the room with you next to me, anytime and anyplace."
"Then why Wayne, why?"
"Don’t you get it Laura? It’s really quite simple. I love you too much for that."
© 2018, Tim Wilkinson