Amber Wolf got a facelift! Available now, on Amazon.
By Ursula Wong
Betty opened the door. “Get out of here!”
As soon as Stanley stepped over the threshold and onto the front porch, she slammed the door shut. She waited, counting the seconds. “Twenty-one, twenty-two.” It was a rough neighborhood and he wasn’t supposed to wait this long. Perhaps he was planning something more than their usual make-up-sex. She felt a tingle run up her spine. Oh how she loved that man. She opened the door and peeked out.
No one was there. Leaving the door ajar, she walked down the steps, half-expecting him to jump out from behind the bushes. What was he planning?
“Stanley, are you there?” She curled her toes. This is going to be good.
The wind stirred the leaves, but Stanley didn’t answer.
She went around the side of the house and even looked in the backyard. Her elusive lover had vanished. Had he run out for some whipped cream?
Annoyed, Betty stomped back inside. Two can play this game. Who does he think he is making me wait? As she walked down the hallway, an arm grabbed her around the waist.
This is it! Sex with a burglar. “Oh Stanley,” she cooed.
A gloved hand covered her mouth. Her eyes filled with the look of terror. This isn’t Stanley.
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Jack quietly pressed against the door until the lock clicked shut. He took off his camel hair coat and sniffed, noticing a trace of her Chanel, and remembering the explosion of satisfaction that still filled him. He hung the coat up next to Mary’s, sure that she wouldn’t notice the scent. Sadly, she never noticed anything anymore. Still, he kicked off his shoes soundlessly, and crossed the floor to the stairs.
Jack froze at a voice coming from inside the bedroom. He pressed his ear against the door and listened.
“He was out ‘till after midnight a few days last week, too.” Mary’s voice.
She noticed I was gone. She missed me, thought Jack. She still cares. A second passed.
“Okay. But I need to be home before Jack gets in.”
Jack grinned. She wanted to be home so she could wait up for him. He felt warm and loved. He realized how much he had missed that feeling. He had been so stupid. She loved him after all. He resolved to be true to her this time. Only her.
“I suppose you’re right. Jack won’t even notice if I’m gone. If he does, he deserves a little pain. He’s given me enough.”
His smile faded.
“I love you, too,” said Mary. “Sweet dreams.”
Jack closed his eyes to a feeling of utter emptiness. When he opened the door, the room was dark and Mary’s form lay still on the bed. He undressed in the bathroom and quietly crawled in next to her. He put his hands behind his head and fell asleep wondering how it had all come to this.
By Ursula Wong
Belle went into the kitchen to find Sissy wedging a pry bar behind the cap running along the wall above the wainscoting, sweat running down her cheeks.
“Leave that alone!” Belle said.
“Why? It’s going to be mine eventually. I can do what I want,” said Sissy.
“Grandpa left everything just so, and that’s how I want it to stay as long as I’m alive,” said Belle.
“But this stuff is so old and boring.” Sissy gestured at the honey-colored wood and the stove with blue flowers painted on the enamel. She wiggled the lever against a stubborn nail.
“Didn’t you hear what I said? You leave this house alone and if you don’t like it, well there’s the door. You and Tom can find someplace else to stay.”
“You know we have no place to go.”
“I mean it, Sissy. I don’t want Ed’s handiwork destroyed because you think you have better taste.”
Sissy’s knuckles turned white as she clasped the lever. A chill seized Belle’s back.
Then Sissy giggled and put it down. “I do have better taste.”
Shaking off the discomfort and telling herself that it was just a family quarrel, Belle climbed the stairs to the landing and the rocking chair Ed had made. She sat and gripped the arms, wondering where that girl gotten all her damn nerve.
In a few minutes, Sissy came up carrying a cup of tea and a butter cookie. It was Belle’s best China.
“Thanks.” Belle smiled and took a sip. Maybe Sissy was trying to apologize and had finally gotten the message that she was serious about the house.
“Are you going to be home all day?” asked Sissy.
“Far as I know,” said Belle. As she took another sip, her eyes grew wide. She grabbed her throat. “Did you put something in the tea?”
Belle dropped the cup and saucer to the floor.
Sissy’s voice sounded far away. “It’s okay, Tom. Get the tools and let’s start working.”