“You know this can never last right?” Sheila looked up at Vince with a smile. She was lying on her side, barely covered by a rumpled sheet that had been pushed down to the bed only a few minutes earlier.
“I know,” Vince sighed, “we both knew that from the moment this started, but how long do you think we can make it work?” He stood facing the bed, buttoning his shirt, his eyes drawn to the gentle curve of the fabric that barely covered the body of his buddy’s wife.
“I think we can keep it going for quite a while longer,” Sheila sat up, tucking her legs beneath her and pulling up the sheet just enough to tease him with a little false modesty, “Jack and Linda both work so much that it’s easy for us to sneak in a little time together. I guess it is always possible that one of them could come home early and on the wrong day that could certainly put an end to things in a rather dramatic way, but I honestly don’t see that happening.” Their respective spouses had been A type personalities since college and getting into the workforce had pushed them both into overdrive. Vince and Sheila were simply along for the ride as Jack and Linda relentlessly climbed the corporate ladder.
“True. I wonder if they’d ever realize that our relationship was their fault.” The four of them had been neighbors since they had graduated and they had been good friends before that, but a year ago Jack and Linda had suggested that their struggling writer spouses work together as writing partners. Sheila had worked with a writing group in college, but Vince had only picked up on writing after graduation and was used to working alone.
“I still think its funny how much you resisted the idea of working together,” Sheila laughed. “I remember you bringing your laptop over and sitting across the table from me all closed off and angry looking, sort of like a kid who was told he couldn’t get down from the table until he had eaten his Brussels sprouts.”
Vince laughed at the image but knew it wasn’t far from the truth. Its not that he hadn’t liked Sheila, it was more that he didn’t like letting other people read his work. He’d suffered from enough rejection letters in his short and futile career to have developed some serious insecurities about his writing. He’d agreed to go because his wife had made it more than apparent that she thought he needed to stop being such a hermit and if going over to talk with Sheila kept her from signing him up for another club then that was a sacrifice he would make. He absolutely did not want to be signed up for another book club or a class on pottery making. Being a Type A she just couldn’t fathom how someone could just work quietly by themselves with no sense of a deadline or end goal other than finishing. It drove him crazy.
“Yeah, I never thought I’d enjoy it as much as I did.” Sheila had a natural talent for bringing people out of there shell and spent that first day doing little more than prying Vince out of his. At first they got together once or twice a week to read each other’s work and talk it over, but within a month they were together almost every day. Their friendship was easy and exciting, both of them thrilled by the progress they were making on their respective books and they had both become so prolific in their work that they started doing things away from their homes as well. They spent time together researching, eating out, watching movies and whatever else they felt like. Linda and Jack applauded the ties they had created and welcomed the more upbeat attitude of their Spouses. Life was good for the friends, but two months ago things had changed.
Vince had gone over to Sheila for their usual 9AM writing review and they both settled in with copies of each other’s latest work and began to read. Vince remembered Sheila’s pages being filled with a torrid love scene, the first time the heroine of her romance novel got together with the main love interest. Sheila was an excellent writer and had a real gift for making the reader feel like they were there. Three paragraphs in Vince had begun to shift, uncomfortably aware of the closeness of Sheila. He tried to focus but couldn’t help noticing the length of her legs, the swell of her breasts, the pout of her lips. He was sure his fidgeting would draw attention to him and he couldn’t decide if that was a good or a bad thing.
Finally he had finished. He set the pages down on the coffee table and turned to look at Sheila sitting on the other end of the couch. She finished his a moment later and looked up; she did a little double take, seeing the fire in his eyes, and asked him what he thought. He responded by moving closer, putting a hand behind her head and pulling her to him. They kissed deeply, the kiss of two lovers separated by time and place for far too long. Before they knew it they were stripping out of their clothes, their hands rarely leaving each other, their touches gentle but with a purpose wrought in iron. For so long they had been merely friends, neither giving in to the quiet tension that had built between them until finally their resolve had melted away leaving them only with desire.
They had spent the rest of that first day making love, exploring each other as much as any two people possibly could, stopping only to recover between sessions until the clock struck three. They walked silently, hand in hand up to the bedroom and into the shower. Slowly they washed each other and talked about what had happened, what it meant and what they should do about it. Ultimately they decided that they both loved their spouses to much to leave, but at the same time they knew they could not give each other up so they decided to have an affair, not as lovers, but as friend with benefits. Sheila and Vince laughed loudly as the hot water cascaded over them, happy for the first time in years.
“So what do you want to do for the rest of the day then?” Sheila asked.
“I suppose we could actually do some writing for a while. Taking Monday and Tuesday off certainly put a dent in our output for the week.”
“True, but I think it was completely worth it don’t you.”
“Oh yes, definitely,” looking at her was making his blood boil yet again. He knew he should have walked away, been firm and got them to work, but her closeness made it hard to resist and she knew it. She got up on her knees and looked up at him, smiling, knowing that she had already won, that there would be no more work today. Vince stepped closer and kissed her while he ran his hands down her back. Sheila pressed her body against his and wrapped her arms around his waste leaving only the pressure of their bodies to keep the sheet in place.
Sheila pulled back a little and let the sheet fall as her lips left his, “you know we could just work extra hard tomorrow instead,” she whispered as her hands deftly unbuckled his belt.“Yes we could,” Vince replied as Sheila popped the button and unzipped his jeans, “but let’s talk about that more tomorrow.”