Poison's Bend: Chapter 6
Warning: some language
His name was Ripp Grunt, as I soon discovered, and as we sat together in the warm coffee shop while a summer thunderstorm raged outside, he told me he was a freshman at La Fiesta Tech.
“Well,” I quipped, “I guess that makes you just barely legal.” I sipped my coffee, eyeing him flirtatiously over the rim of the cup.
He laughed. “I suppose. But it still counts.”
“Indeed it does.” I answered, my voice rich with suggestion. “...and not just for voting.”
He cleared his throat. “Um... what did you say your name was?"
“I didn’t,” I replied, setting my cup down on the table with a soft clink. “but it’s Aerin. Aerin Curious.”
“Curious?” he repeated, frowning slightly. “Any relation to the Curiouses that live on Cover Up Road in Strangetown?”
“Yes. I’m married to one of them. Pascal Curious. Do you know him?”
He shrugged. “I’ve heard of him. He went to school with my dad. Well, scratch that. He actually used to be beat up by my dad on a daily basis at the school, along with his brothers.” He blew on his coffee and carefully took a sip. “That doesn’t mean anything though. The General was a fucking bully. He still is, in case you didn’t know.”
I stirred cream into my cup. “I haven’t met him yet.”
“Be happy. My father’s a prick.”
We were silent for a few moments, listening to the rain lash the windows and the thunder rumble in the distance.
Somehow, the raging storm outside made the interior of the coffee shop feel cozier... more intimate... like a haven of sorts. A perfect atmosphere for becoming more emotionally close to someone. Even someone who was virtually a stranger.
I lay my hand on the table close to Ripp’s, not quite touching his, but the intent was clear. I noticed it happened to be my left hand, with the shining gold band on the marriage finger... a gold band that suddenly seemed far too bright.
I clenched my hand into a fist, intending to place it back into my lap, but Ripp had been following my gaze and captured my hand before I could move it out of his reach.
He lifted it to his eye level and examined the heavy gold ring intently.
“So you’re married, then.”
“Is this when I’m supposed to say I’ll back off?”
The rain intensified, sheeting against the windows. I looked into Ripp’s dark blue eyes and remembered how desperately I wanted a child. For whatever reason... whether it be unfortunate biology or from some intended action, Pascal was not getting me pregnant, and if there was any man out there that could, I knew I was looking at him right now.
“I suppose it is,” I whispered. “but I don’t want you to.”
“Good.” he said, as a suggestive smile spread across his handsome young face. “Because I have no intention of it.”
We began meeting regularly at the coffee shop, and soon became very close.
He was the complete opposite of my husband, I discovered. Ripp was playful, carefree, and fun. Part of it was due to his immaturity, I was sure... but it appealed to me all the same.
I found out he had two brothers, that his mother had run off when he was a child, and that his father had raised him with the heavy-handedness of a lifelong military man.
“I was his whipping boy from the time I was a kid,” Ripp said to me softly as we relaxed on the coffee shop's comfortable old sofa one afternoon. “I was so fucking happy to leave.”
“That’s too bad,” I murmured.
“What about your family?” he asked, trailing his fingers gently over my shoulder. Although we had done a lot of heavy flirting over the past few months, we hadn’t gone much past that yet. Fear of being discovered, either by my husband or those who knew him, kept me from initiating much romance with Ripp, and there was a fair amount of guilt sprinkled in as well... but steadily we were inching toward falling in love.
“My family?” I repeated, trying to find a way to avoid the question. Finally I sighed. “Well, there’s not much to tell. My mother is dead, and I don’t know who my father is, but I assume he is... also... gone.” My voice wavered and I swallowed hard.
“Wow, I’m sorry,” Ripp said, with genuine feeling.
“Thank you,” I said, regaining my composure and sighing again. “It was a long time ago. I’ve done all right since then.”
“And now you’re married to Pascal Curious.” he said. “How are things with him?”
I arched an eyebrow in reply.
Ripp laughed, answering himself. “Right. You’re here with me, aren’t you?”
I laughed quietly. “Don’t be arrogant, Ripp. I actually love my husband very much, and we have a happy, wonderful, perfect marriage.” I smiled, realizing how rote that sounded. “And I’m not being sarcastic, either. It’s the truth.”
He looked confused. “So why...?”
I put my finger over his lips. “Don't worry about it, mon cher. Sometimes even in the best of situations, there are certain needs that aren’t being met.”
“Oh, I get it.” Ripp laughed. “His age catching up with him, is it? Or should I say, down… ”
“Not quite,” I said, under my breath.
Let Ripp think what he would. If he believed I wanted him simply because I was not being sexually satisfied by my husband, so much the better. However, nothing could be further from the truth, and I personally thought a randy eighteen-year-old boy that had no idea what he was doing would hardly compare to a grown, mature man who knew me, inside and out, like a book.
But that was neither here nor there.
I was hardly expecting finesse... just an act of procreation.
Now it was just a matter of getting what I wanted.
And I was very good at that.
To Be Continued...