A small bang sounded. A little squeak slipped past Kara’s lips. Her husband thrust again. Kara’s head cracked against the headboard a second time.
His eyes were closed in concentration. His breathing was ragged. Their pelvises met. Kara braced herself. She felt her hair brush the cast iron decorations above her but she avoided a bruise. She squirmed her ass down the bed as he withdrew in a vain effort to gain a few inches.
He grunted and thrust. Bang.
She rubbed her bruised crown. “Yeah, can you scoot down a little?”
His face took on a ruddy color. He smiled sheepishly. “Oh.”
They wiggled down the bed together. Kara remained impaled. They kissed briefly and then Clark resumed his steady slide, bump, slid, bump pace. Kara’s ass edged up the bed with every thrust. The arch of her pelvis was beginning to feel a little bruised. The whole experience was, ordinary.
She moaned to cover her yawn.
With her utterance he groaned too. His thrusts became erratic. He impaled her and just kept pushing before withdrawing and impaling her again. His lips were pulled back in an odd little snarl and the arms that could manage hundred pushups without giving out, trembled. Sweat dripped from his brow.
It landed in Kara’s eye. She hissed in pain. She squeezed her eyes shut and they both teared up. A few dozen heartbeats passed.
Clark rolled off her.
“Ow, ow, ow, Clark! My leg!”
She huffed and climbed out of bed to wash off. His gaze tailed her bare ass. Even though their one-year anniversary was next month, pink tinged her cheeks. Clark sighed when she closed the bathroom door. She ignored it.
Clark left to clean up when Kara had returned in her flannel pajamas. She rolled away from him. She pretended to be asleep. Clark settled in, his back turned to her.
Minutes ticked by. Red, liquid crystal numbers burnt into the retina of Kara’s watery eyes. At eleven-eleven, Clark began to snore.
Kara fished her tablet out from her bookshelf nightstand. She played Tetris until the unsatisfied ach between her legs went away.
The next morning was gym, shower, Carharts and shirt for him. Gym, shower, white blouse and blue-jeans for her. Three eggs and toast for him. A bagel with strawberry cream-cheese for her. They kissed. He pinched. She squealed. It wasn’t real.
Half way through their second cup of coffee, Clark set down his cup. He leaned towards her on his elbows. “Kara, what’s your fantasies?”
Kara’s coffee was at her lips. She sipped too much and burnt her tongue. “My what?”
“Your fantasies? What do you think of when we have sex?”
“Really? Clark, is this the time to talk about that?”
She reached over and grabbed his plate. She got up, opened the dishwasher and began to clear the table. Her dark ponytail whipped about her about her with the jerky hast of her motions. “Clark, you got t’ go to work.”
“Kara, sit down. We need to talk about this.”
She ignored his request.
“Kara, please, sit.”
She sat. She picked up her cup and hid behind it. “I don’t know. I don’t really have any fantasies. What are yours?”
“Right now? That would have to be for you to enjoy sex with me.”
“You do what?”
“Enjoy sex. With you. We had sex like three times last week and once already this week.”
“No you don’t. You just endure it.”
She mumbled into her cup. “Well it is kind o’ the same every time.”
Clark leaned back and crossed his arms. His lips twitched as though he were suppressing a grin. “It wouldn’t have to be the same every time if you’d just tell me your fantasies.”
Kara’s cup banged down onto the table harder than she’d intended. Coffee sloshed over the rim. “It would be nice if I could just let go and enjoy it. But how can I?
“I’m always wondering if this is the time I’m going to get pregnant and how we are going to pay for that when we can’t afford our mortgage? Or what my mom is doing with that new boyfriend of hers or how dad is just doing. To top it off, I always end up bruised somewhere.” She rubbed the crown of her head.
Clark leaned forward and put his palm over her trembling hand. She scrubbed her eyes with the sleeve of her blouse.
“Kara, it’s okay. Don’t cry, baby. I – I wasn’t trying to upset you I just — I — Kara, this is hard for me too.”
“How?” There was a note of derision in her voice.
“I’m sorry. We can talk about this later, if you like.”
“I want, I want, I want to have no choice.”
Clark drew back. “You mean like rape?”
“No! Not like rape. I mean like, like I have no choice but to enjoy it. Like we are the only people in the world. Like there is nothing. Nothing but you and me. Nothing but you loving me. Even when I want it, something interrupts.”
“No, you don’t see. How could you? You always come.”
Clark chuckled. “That’s because you are so hot.”
Kara shot to her feet. Her chair toppled. Clark caught her hand to prevent her from leaving. She scowled at him.
“You’re going to be late.”
“I’ve got ten minutes.”
Her small breasts heaved. Her breath hissed past her jutting lip and fluttered her bangs. She righted her chair and sat back down.
“Okay, Clark, what do you want?”
“I want to help you.”
“Clark,” she growled.
“Okay, if I can make it so all you can think about is the sex, will you do it?”
“And how are you going to do that?”
“I’ve got this MP3. It’s about an hour long. I want you to listen to it tonight while we have sex.”
“Clark, we had sex last night!”
“Okay, tomorrow night.” She frowned at him. “Or the night after, or, whenever the next time we do it is.”
“What do my ears have to do with sex?” She blushed. She knew exactly what her ears had to do with sex. Clark, however, seemed to have forgotten. He hadn’t nipped them for at least six months; pretty much since the honeymoon.
When they were engaged, a gentle nibble on her earlobe, at the right time, was Clark’s key to getting her out of her pants. She’d thrashed on his shaft the first time after their wedding when he’d bitten her ear. She’d also screamed.
He’d thought he’d hurt her.
“It’ll isolate you.” He poked her forehead. “It’ll block out invading thoughts. It might just inspire a few more appropriate to the moment.”
She stared at him. He stared back, his brow furrowed and his head kind of wiggled. Her lips quirked into a half smile.
She stuck out her tongue and looked away. “Okay, we can do it tonight, but only tonight.”
“Why only tonight? What if it works?”
“If it works, we’ll see.”
“Good—uh—now—got t’ go. Goin’ t’ be late for work.”
“I know,” Clark called just as the door banded shut.
That night she stepped out of the master-bath in her flannel pajamas. The dreamy look on Clark’s face slipped.
“Uh, what about?”
She shot him an innocent smile. “It’s cold? They’re comfy? It’s not supposed to be easy?”
The smile returned to Clark’s face. If she didn’t know better she’d have said there was a slight spring in his step as he left to brush his teeth.
Kara slipped into bed. She slid down until her heels rested on the toe-board of their California King. She bent her head back to look at the headboard. It was still too close.
Her height had deprived her of many potential dates before she’d been married. She’d met Clark her freshman year of college. He’d been the first boy man enough to get into her pants.
They’d been at a summer frat party. She’d just finished her last final of sophomore year at college. The drunk sorority girls had been skinny dipping. Clark had thrown her in with them. In the water fight that followed they’d both lost their clothes. Since they’d been making out all night no one seemed to notice when she wrapped herself about him yet again. He’d plugged her for the very first time.
She hadn’t come in the pool. She had five times, later that night, while dreaming of it while she’d played with Princess Sofia, her pink vibrator. That night had been the hottest night of her life.
Not so the rash that had followed.
The bed moved. He eyes snapped open. Clark leaned over and kissed her.
“Hi.” He waved the MP3 player and earbuds at her.
“Hi.” She shot him a toothy grin. She pulled the blankets up to her throat.
“Okay playful. I suppose I have to do everything.” He fumbled an earbuds into her closest ear.She didn’t turn her head to help him with the other until he growled at her.His fingers on her lobes sent little shivers down her spine.
“Okay,” he said, “I’m going t’ turn it on. It needs to be loud enough it’s all you can hear but not so loud it hurts your ears. If it’s too loud, tell me.” He turned it on, found the file he wanted and hit play.
For the first many heartbeats there was nothing. No static. No sound. She arched an eyebrow at her husband. Then a symphony of violins gently crescendoed. It grew louder and louder until it was all she could hear. She loved violins. She smiled and settled her head back.
Clark eased down beside her. She stiffened, expecting his hand to snake in under here defenses. Nothing happened. She watched Clark watch her. The violins played on.