At Home With You
Summary: Your beefy alpha Bucky only wants to do a few things when he gets home. Take care of you, eat you and keep you full.
Pairing: Beefy Alpha Bucky x pregnant Omega reader
Warnings: Smut, oral (fem) receiving, 6'4" alpha Bucky, possessive behavior, breeding kink.
a/n: Dont even know why I still call them drabble Tuesdays. This is close to 2K y'all. I have no self control. Sorry.
A glimmer of silver cuts through the foggy autumn air splitting the trunk into two with a resounding crack. A flock of birds screech in the trees surrounding the lumberyard, dew-covered leaves shaking and flinging droplets across the field as they take flight, disappearing into the cloudy sky.
Bucky tilts his head, stretching his aching neck. A sheen of sweat clings to his forehead, more beading down his broad back, he shed his flannel shirt a while ago, the cool relief of the early dawn air soon replaced by his rising body heat. It’s been a few hours, but he’s exhausted, he’s in the middle of clearing out downed trees from the storm last night. He was wrapped around you when he got the call asking if he could come in and help, almost declining because you felt so good cuddled beside him.
It’s always an internal battle, go provide for your omega or stay at home and worship her. But the offer of double pay was enough to entice him to drag himself out of bed and away from you because you could do a lot with the extra money. The urge to provide for you and the little one winning out over his desire to spend the day showing you how much he loves you.
He takes down another log with a fierce swing, quickly cutting through the thick wood.
“Slow down Barnes.” The order barked out behind him for the second time since he arrived at the lumberyard.
The corner of his lips curls into a smirk, he shrugs with an indiscerptible shake of his head. Not a chance. The sooner he clears his row of logs, the sooner he gets to go home. And Bucky wants to go home.
Your warm, sleepy presence in the bond is motivating him to go faster, work harder. If he closes his eyes, he can see you, his sweet little omega, tangled in your nest, probably using his shirt as a makeshift pillow. A small laugh rumbles in his chest, he loves your nest. He still can’t believe that you’ve made something so amazing and you allow him in it.
He never understood the talks about how incredible a nest was before he met you, other alphas always saying he had to experience it for himself and then he would understand.
And they were right.
The one you built, his shirts, a few blankets, pillows, more of his shirts, his gray sweatpants, the ones you ripped off him last week, telling him he better not leave your house dressed like that, is nothing short of perfect. His best memories revolve around being with you on his California king bed surrounded by your sweet scent, brown sugar, and vanilla, your small hand in his large rough one, your head on his chest as he rubs your back.
Looking around at the daunting work ahead of him, he lets out a sigh. Bucky wants to go home. To his mate, his omega. Putting his foot on the cracked wood, he yanks his ax free, setting the handle on his shoulder. There’s a shift in the bond, a grumble, disconcertion. His smirk widens into a genuine smile at the flare of muted resentment. You’re waking up. Bucky thinks it’s cute how much you hate mornings.
He can see you clear as day, grumpily rubbing your belly, muttering that baby should let you sleep in, can’t believe he’s already taking after his father.
If he were home, he’s would be on the receiving end of your complaints, holding back a laugh as you poke him in the belly, declaring this is all his fault and asking how is he going to make it up to you.
Bucky always makes it up to you.
God, he wants to go home.
Bucky steps up to the next log, bringing his ax back. He surveys it critically, it’s an ancient evergreen, judging by the markings on the bark lightning struck it.
“Barnes, hold on, you’re going to need two more men for-” he swings, the ear-splitting crack piercing the air. A flurry of startled screeching and other noises rustling from the depths of his forest. He casually steps to the side, narrowly avoiding the massive tree as it tumbles to the side with a loud thump, the ground shaking beneath his boots.
He glances over his shoulder, finding his supervisor, Nick, glaring at him, one hand clutching his belt, a clipboard dangling by his side. “Goddamn it Barnes, I-”
He really wants to go home. Bucky doesn’t have to say the words, they can feel the urgency, the need rolling off him.
“Good job,” he sighs “But if you hurt yourself-”
“Yeah, yeah, I got it.”
Two hours later, he’s the first to leave the site, followed by Steve, who is just as eager to get home to his newly mated omega.
Throwing his truck into park, he rests his forehead on the steering wheel. Taking a few deep breathes he tamps down the urge to storm inside and bend you over the kitchen table. He can't. Not yet anyway.
Before he reaches the front door, warm brown sugar and toasted vanilla hits him, and just like that he’s relaxed, deeply inhaling your unique fragrance.
Looking down at his shirt, splattered with sweat and dirt, he grimaces, he’s going to need a long shower to get all of this off him. Bucky refuses to let an ounce of grime touch your pretty skin, toeing off his muddy work boots he leaves them on the welcome mat, ducking his head as he enters the house.
Closing the door behind him, the sounds of your singing float through the hallway. He strips down, bundling his clothes in his arms; he creeps past you, almost stumbling when you let out a lusty growl, a lewd comment about his firm cheeks makes his other ones turn bright red.
One cold shower later, he’s padding to the kitchen wearing only his dog tags and a pair of gray boxers. Carding a hand through his damp hair, he watches you lift the lid, steam wafting from the pot. You’re gorgeous, wearing only his red henley, the sleeves rolled up past your elbows.
“You do know you have your own clothes, right?” He teasing, you both know he only likes you in his shirts or wearing his hand around your throat like a diamond choker.
Turning, you stretch your arms over your head, the red material sliding up your thighs. “You do know that everything in this house, including you, belongs to me?”
Damn, he loves how sassy you can get. And it’s true. Bucky raises his brow, his eyes focused on your slightly rounded belly. He did that. All those nights of filling you with his cum, fucking it back into your swollen pussy with his fingers while you basked in the afterglow of your orgasm, and now you’re carrying his son. Tendrils of possessiveness wrap around him, pulsating through the bond, you shiver watching his eyes darken.
You and your pretty body belong to him. He must have said the words out loud because you whimper in response, yes Bucky.
Before you can finish saying his name, he’s pushing you into the counter, his lips descending on yours, his tongue claiming your mouth, large hands running up and down your soft thighs. You melt into the kiss, the sheer possessiveness, the feral way his lips are slotting over yours is entrancing, another whimper spills out, and he swallows it with a low growl, the sound reverberating in your belly. He pushes his thigh between your legs, your honeyed slick coating him. Any thoughts of letting you ride his thigh dissipate when he smells your arousal.
“Bunny,” he groans, his lips moving down to your throat, “I need a little dessert before dinner.” Bucky slips the shirt over your head, his hands cupping your tender breasts, gently kissing his way down your throat. His tongue flickers over your nipple, his calloused fingers rolling the other. You’re already so wet, aching for him, but he’s still going to get you worked up, he needs to feel your soft body after a long day without you.
“Oh,” you softly gasp, the sensations shooting directly to your core. “Bucky.”
More wet, open-mouthed kisses down your belly until he’s kneeling before you. He’s so large that he only has to tilt his head back a little to see your pretty face. Bucky locks eyes with you, the intensity of gaze is enough to make you lose control, a small chirp escaping your lips. Your mouth opening to beg him, but Bucky knows what you want and you don’t have to beg him, not tonight, not when he needs the taste of you on his tongue more than he needs air.
Those large hands of his push your thighs apart, and he grunts through gritted teeth. “Gahdamn you’re pretty.” He’s talking to you and her. You preen, arching your back, lifting your hips so he can get a better look at his pussy. A deep growl echoes through the kitchen and more of your slick drips out of you. He catches it on his tongue, pushing it back through your folds, his thick wet tongue sweeping over your clit faster and faster until you’re gripping his hair, mumbling that you taste so fucking good, he doesn’t need dinner, he’ll just eat you all night long bunny, you want that don’t you pretty girl.
You can’t understand him, too busy panting and groaning his name to listen to anything else.
His damp locks in your fist, you throw your head back with a loud sob. He’s so good, so good at making you feel as if you’re floating, your orgasm rapidly approaching, powerful, and out of control, Bucky pushing you close and close, his lips surrounding your throbbing little bud.
Bucky can’t get enough of those sounds you’re making, those fucking sounds haunt his dreams and leave him aching and leaking like he was a teenager again.
Two thick fingers tease your entrance, Bucky waits until your thighs tremble and he shoves them into you, a quick twist of his wrist followed by a firm curl of his fingers. Right over the spongy patch he loves so much. “Cum now, give it to me bunny, lemme have it,” He moans, fuck he actually moans, into your pussy. “Good girl.” He’s so proud of you, his praise washing over you faster than his tongue and its all you need to fall apart. Your orgasm crashes into you, sending you screaming over the edge. You bend over, grabbing his head for purchase, his fingers gently fucking you through it until you get too sensitive and push him away.
Bucky stands up, one hand on your waist to keep you steady. “So what did you make for dinner?” He licks his fingers clean, leaving you gasping and clinging to the counter, your legs slowly giving out.
“You okay there?” You roll your eyes at his smug tone, you try to take a step towards the table but your legs protest, too unsteady to make it the six feet across the kitchen. “Yeah, you’re real good arent’ you bunny?” he laughs, glancing at you while washing his hands.
Fuck him and his tongue, your pussy clenches at the thought, yes, fuck him and his tongue after you eat. You give up trying to walk, deciding it’s easier to sink to the floor, your wobbly legs splayed in front of you.
“How was work?” you rasp out, leaning on the dishwasher, the metal surface cooling down your warm back.
Bucky grins, instead of responding, he asks you about your day, he’d rather listen to you talk than think about work. Soon he settles beside you, placing the loaded plate on his thigh, feeding you dinner in between soft, chaste kisses. When you’re both done, he reaches up, placing the dish on the counter.
You loll your head to the side, smiling at him. “I’m so full,” you start, instantly regretting your choice of words, your face falling when a smirk creeps across his bearded one.
Bucky grabs your chin, “oh you will be very soon.”
He leans closer and closer until his nose is pressed into yours and you can the thin rim of blue in his lust-blown pupils. “In fact, I’m going to keep you full all night, remind you how you got nice and swollen in the first place. Gonna fuck my cum so deep inside your tight little cunt over and over until I’m leaking out of you all night.”
Let me know what you think! As always don't copy, rewrite or repost my drabbles!
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i’m on fire
summary: harry can’t keep his hands to himself after getting home from filming.
warnings: breeding kink, spanking, smut, slight fluff, pregnancy mention, slight dom/sub
word count: 2.7k
song inspo.: i’m on fire - bruce springsteen, girls on film - duran duran, tango in the night - fleetwood mac
You’ve hardly glanced in Harry’s eyes as he walks into the foyer of your London apartment before you feel your back slam into the door behind you - your head thumps against the wood and a groan threatens to rip out of your throat but he steals it before you get the chance to make the noise, lips on yours and tongue stuck down your throat.
Your hands have nowhere else to go but to bury themselves in his hair, fingers curling around chocolate brown curls and tugging until you hear the soft hitch in his breath that indicates just how much your grasp affected him. And, God, it did affect him, clearly, as he pushes his hips further against yours until you can feel the thick bulge in his pelvis grinding against the softness of your inner thigh as you hike your leg up to hoist around his waist. He moves one arm from where he had been grasping your throat as if to steady him to the present and his free hand grasps the underside of your thigh, pulling it further up his abdomen until the stretch in your muscle makes you whine.
“Jesus fuck, Har -”
He shuts you up from whatever you were going to mutter as he deepens the kiss, teeth tugging at your bottom lip as his knee grinds into your cunt until you’re crying out, goosebumps overtaking every square inch of your skin even through the thick sweatshirt adorning your upper half. You hadn’t had much of anything valuable to say, anyway, but it’s the principle of his interruption that makes you grasp for his cheeks and pull his face from yours with a heaving gasp.
“What’s gotten into you, hmm?”
You’d almost be concerned about Harry’s state if you couldn’t feel him rutting his cock against your thigh - his face is red and hot, eyes half lidded and breaths panting and desperate with each sharp inhale of oxygen. Christ, he looks a sight in the best way possible, and your instinct is to snap your thighs shut at the feeling that rushes through your body when he leans in, pressing soft lips to the sweaty skin of your throat so it muffles his response. His hands find the hem of your sweatshirt (or his sweatshirt, really) and you have half a mind to raise your arms so he can pull his lips from your neck to tug the cloth off of your torso before he finds a vein in your throat with a newfound vigor, sliding his other hand up to grope at your bare tit like a teenage boy whose only just seen one for the first time.
“Jus’ wanna love on you, hmm - wanna love on m’girl, please -”
He grunts, then. Nips at a vein in your neck that pulsates beneath his lapping tongue and you can’t help but giggle, however childlike and naive the noise sounds, but it’s enough for him to drop your thigh from around your waist - grab your cheeks and spin you around, pushing you backwards and backwards until your feet hardly feel like they’re moving, like you’re floating through the entryway of your apartment until you reach the kitchen. Though Harry loves fucking you every which way in your bed, huge and comfortable and soft, there’s something primal about pushing you against the kitchen table and ripping down your flannel sweatpants and burying himself into your heat that you know he secretly prefers over the sacred oasis of your bedroom.
Your lower back hits the edge of the island but it doesn’t stay there long before he turns you around, pushing the front of your body against the island until your body has folded in half to bend over the slab of marble, cold against your bare tits and stomach. Your boyfriend reaches around to the front of your sweatpants, then, arms wrapped around your thighs to shakily untie the knot that you had carefully tied in the strings of your pajama pants - his chest rises and falls against your back, hips still pushing into yours over and over and you jut your ass out to meet the grind of his cock against the clothed globes of your ass.
“Tied this thing fuckin’ tight, didn’t you?”
“Didn’t think you’d try to rip them off like an animal,” you retort, lifting your hips from where they’re firmly pressed to the edge of the island once Harry has successfully untied the knot, tugging your pants down the slope of your ass until they unceremoniously drop to a puddle at your feet, and you impatiently kick them off as Harry snaps the waistband of your panties just to hear you squeal. “Come on, Har - know you’re impatient -”
His finger slide beneath your panties, knuckle dragging through your slit that’s positively dripping with your slick, and you hear his low moan at how ready you are for him but the truth is you’ve been fucking dripping since he sent you a selfie of him in his makeup chair on set two days prior, hair messy and eyebrow arched, and it hadn’t even been a serious selfie but it still made your clit throb when you saw it. He’d been gone for nearly two weeks for filming when you’d gone a full year of almost never being apart and, fuck. Seeing him like that did things to you.
Harry’s yours, god fucking dammit. The thought makes you spread your thighs more for him as he dips his finger into your waiting hole, curling them up once just to watch how your back arches, how you moan as though you’d been coded to do so. It’s a game he likes to play, testing you, seeing just how needy you are for him even if all he wants to do is bury himself inside of you and fuck you until tears streak your cheeks and you’re begging him to cum.
No - no, he does want that, you know that. Wants it so bad it makes his knees weak, makes his stomach flip and turn, but he wants to watch you fall apart more than anything. Needs to know you want this just as much as he does, if not more, and if he were truly dedicated tonight he’d finger you until you came at least twice.
Neither of you can wait for that.
“Jesus fuck,” he breathes, voice raspy and full of sex and wanting and you could nearly sob as you feel him finally start to tug them hem of his joggers and boxers over his cock. “Gonna fuckin’ ruin you.”
But - but -
He pauses. The head of his cock pokes at your ass in a way that would be funny if the revelation you’d just been hit with hadn’t hit you yet but it has, and you turn your head to press your cheek against the marble.
“I got my birth control thing out yesterday, the one in my arm. Remember - I told you I have to get it replaced. M’getting it tomorrow.”
There’s a pause in the kitchen, then, that hangs heavy over the both of you as you hear Harry’s shaky breathing behind you. And then -
“Did you just get harder?”
Harry exhales and even without seeing him you can picture the smile on his face as he presses his hips further into yours - “M’sorry - s’hot, babe.”
“Me not being on birth control is hot?”
“Yes,” and as if for extra reassurance of just what he means, Harry pushes his cock between your thighs until it’s slotted in your slit, head nudging your clit and making your legs quiver and shake as the stimulation rolls over you, eyes rolling back and head feeling fuzzy. “Makes me wanna fuck you so bad.”
There’s a quick consideration, you suppose - of the possibility of getting pregnant and the fact that you know there’s probably not even a single condom in your apartment for him to quickly put on, and even if there was the moment would die - and, come on, you’ve been together for almost 4 years and you’ve talked about kids in passing. If it happens it happens - that’s been your philosophy on it with him.
If it happens, it happens.
And it wouldn’t be the worst thing. Harry loves kids and you love kids and more than that, you love each other like the world depends on it - could never picture yourself living life without him at this point, and more than that, there is something hot about imagining him fucking you completely raw.
“Fuck, Har,” you moan, feeling your clit spasm as you grasp the edge of the counter. “I don’t care. Fuck me, pl -”
The final word doesn’t make it out of your mouth before Harry’s slamming himself inside of you and there’s no slow or sweet - it’s raw and unfiltered, giving you half a moment to adjust to his size after two full weeks without his cock, and it’s huge, feels like it’s splitting you open, like you’re back to the first time he’d ever fucked you and you’d had the fleeting question of whether it would even fit. It did fit, though, over and over and over, and yet the first stroke always makes you gasp.
“Oh, shit!” your resounding moan is shrill and punctuated by your legs just about giving up, knees collapsing until the only thing holding you up is Harry’s cock slamming into your cunt over and over, his nails digging into your bare shoulder blade before scratching up to tug at your hair. Forms it into a loose ponytail to tug at your hair like a damn whip, forcing your lazed face off of the marble until you’re staring into the darkened kitchen before you with blurry, watering eyes and a cunt that already feels fucked sore from just a few thrusts.
“Oh - god,” and Harry’s voice shakes and leaks with arousal, breath picking up as he pistons into you, cock stroking spots inside of you that you didn’t even know existed before him, before he had fucked you slow and sweet and made you oh so aware of every sweet spot your cunt was filled with. God, he’s good at it, at a fast unforgiving pace that makes your head spin and your throat go raw with sobs, and you slam your palm against the island with a moan. “So fuckin’ tight f’me - made for me, right?”
You don’t respond, words feeling snatched from your tongue with every stroke of his dick into your pussy, milking every drop of arousal for all that it’s worth.
“This - this fuckin’ pussy - s’mine, isn’t it?” And when his seemingly rhetorical question goes unanswered there’s a sharp slap to the bottom of your ass that makes you shout, throat aching with the noise. “Whose fuckin’ pussy -”
“Yours!” It’s a near shriek that’s fucked out of you, and there’s another slap to your ass as you babble, “yours, Harry, yours - belongs to you -”
“Sure fuckin’ does,” and then he pulls out and you want to shout, to slam your head into the island because surely there’s nothing worse than the emptiness that fills you in the worst way possible, but just as you begin to whimper Harry is gripping your thigh, grasp tight enough that you’ll surely see bruises come morning, and he hikes your leg up over the edge of the island, exposing your near-abused pussy to him fully.
The tip of his cock runs along your slit, spreading your slickness around your folds and before you can plead with him to stop teasing he pushes back in, cock drawing along your velvet walls and eliciting a raspy moan that feels nearly involuntary at this point. His grasp on your hair is released and you nearly drop your head onto the island in surprise but then he’s leaning down, clothed chest pressed to your sweaty back, and his forearms snake beneath your neck until he’s nearly caging your neck in his arms, lips pressed to the back of your neck.
His hips pound against your ass, the sound of skin slapping skin nearly overpowering your choked moans and yet it doesn’t quite manage to - you’re sure your downstairs neighbors must think you’re being murdered with the volume of your sobs, or perhaps they’re used to hearing you get fucked within an inch of your life just about every night. Harry going away for filming surely must have been their own vacation from being awoken every night to yours and his pathetic moans mingled together -
But their vacation is over, goddammit.
“Harry, I’m gonna - I’m gonna cum,” you gasp, voice staccato and quiet, and his lips close around the back of your neck until you can feel him suckling at the skin, desperate to watch your skin erupt in hickeys from his work. “Please don’t - don’t stop -”
“Never gonna stop, baby,” is your boyfriend’s response, nearly cruel with how nonchalant he sounds, and his pace picks up where he’s sliding in and out of you with squelching wet sounds. “Cum for me - cum f’me and m’gonna blow it, baby, blow m’fuckin’ load into your cunt -”
You whimper, making a halfhearted attempt to reach behind you and wind your arm around Harry’s neck but you can’t muster up enough strength, feeling the orgasm building in your abdomen build and build like a rubber band about to snap. It’s a feeling that’s all too familiar when you’re with him, like you’re always one stolen smirk away from straddling him in front of everyone and having your way with him -
“M’gonna cum in you, baby,” Harry whispers, voice low and hot against your ear, words being shot directly into your eardrum and sending a chill up your spine that has nothing to do with the chilled temperature of the kitchen. “Gonna knock you up, right? S’what you want?”
“Yes - yes -”
“Y’want me to fill you with my cum, hmm? Get you fuckin’ pregnant? All round w’my fuckin’ kid, fill you ‘till you’re dripping -”
“Oh, God, Harry!”
“Cum on m’fucking cock. Wanna feel y’cum around me ‘fore I blow it, sweetie -”
It’s all the encouragement you need, a moan mixed with a sob tearing out of your throat as you throw your head back, body nearly convulsing as your orgasm racks through you like a tsunami on shore - and it’s everything, like he’s set you aflame and left you to deal with the inferno, and not for the first time you think about how you’re fucking made for him, for this, cumming harder than you’ve ever cum in your life, the rubbr band snapping and sending waves of pleasure through you -
Your orgasm hasn’t even come close to ending when Harry’s hips slam firm against yours, pressed taut against your ass and you feel him, feel every curve and vein of his cock against your walls and your mind goes blank as he cums, warm spurts filling you every which way and it only makes it better when he moves one of his arms from beneath your neck, snaking his hand underneath your body so he can shakily rub three fingers against your clit, milking your orgasm for all that it’s worth. You clamp down on him, every sensation too much and yet not enough in the best way possible, and you swear you see nothing but stars.
There’s a beat of silence, filled only with your heaving breaths and his soft gasps for air mixing with each other in the thick, suddenly humid air of the kitchen. Harry’s chest is sweaty against your back even through his shirt, lips still pressing warm, wet kisses to the back of your neck just underneath your hairline.
“Fuck,” you breathe, soreness already settling in your throat as you swallow, somewhat regretting your vehement moans and cries and shouts but somehow not at all - “Should probably go shower.”
“Not yet -?”
“Stay here for a few minutes,” your boyfriend murmurs against your damp, sweaty skin, tongue poking out to lick a thin stripe from your collarbone up to the side of your throat, lips pressing just underneath your ear. “Gotta make sure it works. Gotta make sure you’re not leaving this fuckin’ kitchen without m’fuckin’ kid inside you, baby.”
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Suburban Pleasure 🌺 Steve Rogers x Reader AU
Hibiscus Lane is a pleasant place to live. Hardly anything worth mentioning ever happens here. Say, have you seen that handsome man who just moved into number 99?
Content Warning: Sex Worker!Steve Rogers x Housewife!Reader, adultery, reader is infertile, reader is married to an asshole, sexual tension, mention of sex and sex work, angst, fluff.
The heat was unbearable that summer.
Your neighbor, Susan, would sit in her front yard and sunbathe for hours, but you couldn't bring yourself to join her no matter how many times she extended the offer. Paul didn't want you parading yourself around half-naked to all the neighbors, and you didn't want him to come home and yell at you again. You knew Susan could hear every word from next door, and you hated the sympathetic look on her face the morning after a big blowout between Paul and you.
So you remained in the house, eating popsicles and taking ice-cold showers four times a day, waiting for the evening to bring with it a cooling breeze.
One fateful afternoon, while you were gardening, Susan looked over from her sunbed and waved at you. "Hey there, Y/N."
"Hi, Sue," You replied politely, keeping your eyes on your hydrangeas.
"I'd ask you to join me, but I've been rejected far too many times," She joked with a soft smile, her sunglasses perched atop her head. "I know when to give up."
That morning, you had had a particularly frustrating argument with Paul. He had dropped the news that his mother was coming into town that weekend and staying for "a night or two", which you damn well knew meant she'd have her saggy ass perched in the guest bed for at least a month. So, feeling fresh from Paul's irritating news, you decided you'd piss him right the fuck back off.
Standing up from your crouching position, you threw down the mini shovel and pulled off your thick gloves. Your palms sang with relief and you let out a breath. "Sue, get your spare sunbed out. I'll be back in ten."
Sunbathing was fun, as it turned out, especially with an ice cold margarita in hand. You were beginning to see why Susan did it so damn much.
"I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised," She commented, looking up at the blue sky. "You're the last woman in this here neighborhood I'd expect to join me for a tan in the middle of the day."
"Then why d'you ask me so much?" You asked, your head lulling to the side to face her.
"Maybe I like the chase," She said playfully, shooting you a wink above her Ray-Bans. "Or maybe I'm addicted the pain of rejection, now."
You snort at her words. "Sadist."
The few people that walked past gave you judging looks, but you couldn't find it in you to care. The old biddies would gossip about it before moving on to the next juicy story two days later; it was worth feeling like you were on vacation even if for only a few minutes.
Susan put her empty glass onto the ground before letting out a content sigh. "You know, I really am glad you finally decided to join me. If anyone needs some relaxation, it's you."
"Yeah?" You asked with a frown. "Why's that?"
"Don't take this the wrong way," She prefaced while you prepared yourself to be offended. "But you're always so tense. And it's because of that unappreciative husband of yours."
You didn't say anything in response, because you didn't want to admit that she was right. You also didn't want to lie to her. Instead, you finished off your margarita.
Life on Hibiscus Lane was picture-perfect. If you were to complain, you'd be seen as ungrateful and blind. You had the ideal life as the housewife of a man with a great job. On paper, you should've been happy. You should've been.
"Say, have you seen that handsome man who just moved into number 99?" Susan asked, her question getting your attention.
There hadn't been new neighbors in years, so it would have been nice to see some fresh faces. "Nope. What's his family like?"
"That's the thing," She began, turning on her side to face you before lowering her voice. "No family. It's just one single man, on his lonesome."
"Living in 99 all alone?" You questioned aloud. Every single house in that neighborhood was home to at least two people, so it was a little extraordinary for someone to live alone in such a big house.
"Grace said he inherited it from his grandma; you remember Mrs. Rogers who used to live there a couple years back?" Susan asked, waiting for you to nod before she continued. "The house has belonged to him since she died, but he lived all the way in New York. I guess he finally decided to settle down in suburbia."
"With no wife?" You wondered with a frown. "No kids?"
She shrugged, "Just him."
"Odd," You commented lowly. Just then, she grabbed your arm, her lips parting.
"That's him," She hissed, looking towards the left.
Sure enough, walking towards Susan's front yard was the single most handsome man you had ever seen. If it was a movie, that was the point at which an iconic rock song would start playing, providing an audible cue for the audience just to really reiterate how sexy the character walking in slow-motion was. Maybe it would be Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water, each of his steps in time with the music.
You could imagine being on a late night drive, with him sitting in the passenger seat, leaning back and oozing relaxation as he lazily mumbled through a smile about how he loves this song, but you wouldn't really be able to hear him because his lips would be wrapped around a thick cigar and the music would be a little too loud. But the second the chorus kicked in, you'd hear his sultry voice singing along an octave lower than than the original, and he'd place his hand on your thigh with a smirk. "A fire in the sky."
God, you needed to put a tight leash on that imagination of yours.
He was shirtless, with sweat glistening on his impeccable body, and a flannel shirt hung over his shoulder which brought your attention to his tree-trunk arms. "Afternoon, ladies," He greeted you both with a voice just as sultry as you imagined, lowering his sunglasses and looking at you from above them. "Getting in some Vitamin D?"
Susan smiled, "Hiya, Steve. You know us gals; crazy about our vitamins."
He chuckled and nodded, "Good girls."
While you tried to recover from the praise which had somehow lit up a dormant feeling in you, Susan sat up. "Steve, this is Y/N Kinsey, she lives next door with her husband, Paul. Y/N, this is Steve who just moved into 99."
"Hi there, Steve," You said politely, trying to ignore the flutter in your stomach when you saw his bicep flex. You could have sworn you heard a little guitar riff playing.
"Hey there, darlin'," He replied, pushing his sunglasses up to hide his eyes but keeping his head facing you. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
You became incredibly aware that all you were wearing was a bikini, and in your head you joked that not even Paul had seen you in such skimpy clothing until the fourth date.
"Well, I'll leave you girls to it," Steve said, giving you a salute. "See you around, Susan. Y/N."
With that, he continued walking down the street, leaving you and Susan to watch. Once he was out of your sight, Susan started fanning herself. "Such a gem, ain't he?"
Grace Ecklesby was easily your least favorite neighbor. Vindictive, judgmental, and the source of all the gossip. You did your best to avoid her, especially when you were already in a bad mood.
The day before your mother-in-law was set to arrive, you were doing a big grocery shop. She'd endlessly complain if you weren't stocked up on the brands she liked, and you were doing your best to limit her opportunity to insult you. So, seething as you watched your cart fill up with shit you didn't even like, it didn't help your sour attitude when you bumped into Grace fucking Ecklesby.
"Well, hi there, Y/N," You heard her sickly sweet voice sing out, making your stomach drop.
"Morning, Grace," You grumbled, picking up a tub of chocolate ice cream for yourself. You deserved it for the hell you were about to go through, both with Grace just then and with Paul's mother the next day.
"Stocking up for the winter?" She joked, her beady eyes scanning the contents of your shopping cart.
"Anita is coming to town," You replied, plastering on a fake smile. "Getting the house ready for her."
"Oh, how lovely!" Grace exclaimed, resting her hands on the side of your cart. It took all your strength not to rip it away from her. "Say, have you met the man who moved into 99?"
While looking at the ingredients on some vanilla ice cream to make sure it didn't have anything Anita was 'intolerant' to, you replied. "Steve, right? Mrs. Rogers' grandson?"
"So you've met him?" She asked, sounding infinitely more intrigued.
"He introduced himself a couple days back," You informed her. "Seems like a nice man."
"Oh, if only you knew..." She trailed off with that whispering tone that you had come to learn was a prelude for some juicy gossip.
You weren't going to give in. Knowing how many times you were the product of her bitching, you couldn't enable her sordid behavior. So you acted uninterested, reading over the same ingredients again and again until 'milk' stopped looking like a real word.
"He isn't as nice as you may think," She went on to say, almost begging you to take the bait.
With a huff, you looked over at her. "What could honestly be so bad about him? He seems like a decent person; there's no need to alienate someone who only just moved here. Don't we owe sweet Mrs. Rogers that much at least?"
Grace quirked a brow before picking up her shopping basket. With a coy look on her face, she began walking past you, but just before she did she patted your shoulder and whispered, "Prostitute."
You almost choked. Turning around, you grabbed her arm. At first, you thought she was trying to insult you, but you soon realized the word wasn't being used to describe you at all. You shouldn't have given in to her, but you couldn't help it. There were too many questions floating through your mind.
"What are you talking about?" You asked with a whisper, your eyes wide. "You mean to say-"
"Melanie Lee in number 93 solicited him for... relations," Grace revealed, her eyes darting around the aisle. "She paid him to spend the night."
"But Mrs. Lee is married," You mumbled, in shock. Happily married, at that.
She shrugged, a smirk on her lips. "Guess we don't really know our neighbors as well as we may think."
You continued the rest of your shopping trip in a daze, wondering if there was any truth to Grace's words. While she was known to embellish and exaggerate here and there, the base of her claims were generally rooted in truth.
Once you got home, you opened the trunk of your car and sighed. There were what seemed like 50 bags full of shit you didn't even like, all to appease that damn Anita. Attempting to take as many bags as possible to lessen the number of trips you'd need to make from the car to the house, you grabbed a handful of them before lifting them up with a groan, feeling them weigh your arms down.
"Here, let me take those," A familiar voice called out before you felt his presence behind you. With ease, Steve lifted the bags from your hands, your skin brushing against him and causing tingles to burn across your palms.
"Thank you," You smiled, forgetting what Grace had told you. You were simply grateful that you didn't have to carry all those bags; it didn't matter if it was Jeffrey Dahmer himself helping you.
Awe-struck, you observed while Steve took every single bag into his hands, like some sort of superhero. He didn't even wince as he lifted them up and took them out your trunk, keeping that friendly smile on his lips the whole time.
"Are you sure you're alright with those?" You asked with concern. "I can take some, if you want."
"Nonsense," He replied stubbornly. "You just go on ahead and open your front door for me, sweetheart."
You closed the trunk before doing as he said, rushing ahead to open the door for him. He walked into your home and you felt his hard arm brush against your chest as he passed you, making your heart race.
"Just on the kitchen island is fine," You told him, following him in after shutting the door.
"This is a lot of stuff," He commented once he had put the bags down. "You only go shopping once a year, or something?"
A breathy laugh left your lips and you shook your head. "The mother-in-law's coming to visit. And God knows nothing I use is good enough for her."
"Ah, I see," He said with realization, nodding slowly. "So she's a high maintenance woman, I take it?"
"Utterly insufferable," You confirmed, taking a few groceries out of the bags while he helped. Usually, you'd immediately stop any guest from helping out, but you just loved the way his arms flexed when he lifted items up and out of the bags so you let him get on with it. Curiously, you asked, "Would you know anything about that?"
He chuckled, "Mother-in-laws? Nope. Never been married myself."
"Really?" You questioned, genuinely surprised. "A scrumptious thing like you?"
Steve was taken aback by your compliment, and it showed in the way his eyes lit up. "Scrumptious, huh? That right?"
You laughed before picking up the chocolate ice-cream and showing him the front of it which had the word 'Scrumptious!' written on it in bold. "It's been circulating in my subconscious. Slip of the tongue."
He hummed, keeping his eyes trained on your face. "Naughty little tongue you got there, sweetheart."
The tub almost slipped from your hands at his lowly spoken words, but you did well to remain collected. "Well, when I give it so much ice-cream, it can't help but be sweet."
"I'll bet," Steve mumbled, the look in his eyes bordering on dangerous.
You swallowed thickly before looking away and distracting yourself with putting away the groceries, well aware that he was still standing right behind you as you bent down to put away the frozen goods. When you stood up straight again, you felt his front press against your back, making you gasp and jump forward. Steve grabbed your elbow and pulled you closer to stop you from falling, a polite smile on his face.
"Careful there, sweetheart. Wouldn't want you falling and splitting your head open now, would we?" He asked softly, before licking his lips. "Where's that dripping sound coming from?"
His question took you by surprise, but you recovered quickly and looked over at the sink. "The tap. It's been dripping like crazy for weeks."
"It has, huh?" Steve asked, furrowing his brows with concern. He let go of your arm, and you hated yourself for missing the warmth, before he strolled over to it. He played around with the taps, opening up the cabinet beneath the sink and looking at the pipes before turning back to you. "I can fix it for you, if you'd like."
"You can?" You asked with excitement. The damn dripping sound had been incessantly irritating for so long. "That would be amazing - my Paul is absolutely useless with these things."
Steve walked back over to you, a smirk pulling at the corner of his mouth as he leaned closer and lowered his voice. "Well, where your Paul falls short, you be sure to ask me to step in, darlin'."
An almost inaudible whimper left your mouth and you nodded. "Thank you, Steve."
He gently patted your hip, sending an electric jolt through your body while keeping the innocent smile on his face. "Happy to help."
"Is this mash gluten-free?" Anita asked with suspicious swimming in her narrow eyes, her cold look aimed directly at you.
After placing the gravy boat onto the table, you sat down opposite Paul and nodded. "Yes, Anita. It's potatoes. There ain't no gluten in potatoes."
"Hmm," She grumbled, before giving herself a healthy portion.
"So, Ma, how's Dad?" Paul questioned her as he dug into his food. It was a nasty habit you constantly begged him to change, but he had never learnt to swallow his damn bite before speaking.
"He's fine," Anita answered, her eyebrows raising up. "Busy with the business, as ever. How's your work, son?"
While they conversed about things you couldn't have cared less about, you focused on your plate. You wondered if Steve in number 99 would have enjoyed your food. Would he give a shit about the gluten? Judging by his appearance, he took a lot of care in his diet and exercise. Was he the type who lived off of rabbit food? No, definitely not. Steve was a real man. A real man like that would happily chomp down on a steak. You wondered how he would have liked his steak. Would he have liked your steak?
"Y/N," Paul said sternly, pulling you from your thoughts. "Ma asked you a question."
"Oh, I apologize, Anita," You said politely, giving her a tight-lipped smile. "What was that?"
"I said," She began with emphasis, rolling her eyes. "When are you and Paul going to try for kids? You're not getting any younger, you know, and the last thing you want is to be an old mother."
Your head shot over to Paul who was staring down at his chicken. The little shit. He was dumping the responsibility on you to break the news to her.
Taking a deep breath, you put down your fork. "Well actually, Anita, we did try. And it didn't take, so we went to the doctor and... we found out that I can't have kids."
The silence was deafening. You couldn't bring yourself to look at her, knowing her face would be filled with either disgust or disappointment. She'd probably even find some way to convey both those emotions at the same time, knowing her expertise in the art of belittling and shaming.
"What?" She asked coldly, making you wince. "Is that a joke?"
With a dry scoff, you looked up at her. "It's not exactly a laughing matter, Anita."
Her lips were pursed and her hand was fisted around her fork. With a huff, she turned to look at her son. "You fool. Is that not the sort of thing you should have asked about before you married he?"
"Excuse me?" You asked with horror.
"And you," She directed at you with malice. "Why would you keep such a thing to yourself? Why trick him into marrying you?"
"Trick him?" You repeated with absolute shock. "First of all; I found out about this at the same damn time that he did. And secondly; Paul doesn't even want kids himself. If he did, he would've taken my suggestion of adopting one much more seriously."
He let out a sigh, glaring up at you. "Do you have to be such a bitch about it?"
Both him and Anita stared at you, silently raging, while you attempted to recover from the sharp sting of their words. Unable to, you pushed your chair out and mumbled something along the lines of, 'screw this and screw you both', before storming to the front door. You slipped on your shoes and left the house, slamming the door behind you.
It was late in the evening, but the stubborn summer sun adamant on seeing its moon prevented it from being too dark. The sky was a soft lilac and the air was humid and salty, the sound of crickets and the smell of far-away barbecues relaxing you.
You walked down the street with no particular destination in mind. All you knew was that the further you got from your house, the easier it was getting to breathe, so you just kept on walking until you found yourself in the park at the end of Hibiscus Lane. The metal bench was a refreshing coolant against your bare legs, and you were grateful that against Paul's warning about what Anita would think, you still opted to wear the loose, white dress that was more the length of a long t-shirt.
Paul. What a dick. How dare he have both pushed you to tell his mother about your infertility, as well as then go on to call you a bitch when all you did was tell the truth?
As more and more time went on in your marriage, you had more and more questions, most of them iterations of 'why the fuck did I marry him?'
Wondering if you had made a huge mistake with signing your life away to him, you felt yourself spiral in panic and regret. Was your life over? Was being his unhappy wife and her even unhappier daughter-in-law all you were born to be? All you ever would be?
"You alright there?" A low voice asked you, making you grimace.
Great. Now you're getting flirted with by a stranger. Looking up, you prepared to tell him to leave you the fuck alone, until you saw his face. "Steve," You breathed out, looking him up and down. He was wearing a skin-tight, grey muscle tee and black polyester shorts, his outfit a clear indicator that he was on a run.
"Y/N?" He asked, pulling out his earphones. "What are you doing out here alone so late?"
You laughed softly, "It's not even 8pm yet."
"Still," He insisted, before noticing the look of sadness and exhaustion on your face. He sat down beside you, nudging your shoulder gently. "You okay?"
"Not really," You admitted, his warm aura making you feel safe enough to open up. "Just had the dinner party from hell."
"Let me guess," Steve began, looking out to the grassy field. "Some fun combination of insufferable mother-in-law and Useless Paul?"
Snorting, you nodded. "Nail on the head, my friend. Nail on the cursed head."
A short silence passed by, and you could feel him looking down at you for a few moments before he spoke again. "I know what you need," He said, before elaborating. "Something scrumptious."
Narrowing your eyes, you pulled your head back. "Huh?"
He smiled sweetly at you before standing up and holding out his hand. "Let me take you for ice-cream. My treat."
His proposal took you by surprise, and your instinct was to refuse anything that sounded like change or risk, so you did. "Uh... I haven't got my purse on me." You then realized you actually didn't have anything on you, having left the house with just your shoes. You wondered if Paul was trying to call you, the idea of which stressed you out for some reason.
Steve rolled his eyes, his hand still outstretched towards you. "What do you think 'my treat' means, sweetheart?"
The nickname made you feel warm inside, which was just another reason why you couldn't say yes. "Aren't you like, mid-run?"
He chuckled and shrugged. "Nothing wrong with a little cheating. I think we both deserve it."
His wording put you on edge. "Paul wouldn't like it," You admitted quietly, playing with the hem of your dress.
Sighing, he took his hand back which slightly disheartened you before asking, "Did you like the way he treated you at dinner today?"
The way his eyes burned into yours made you want to tell him the truth. If anyone else was asking about Paul, you'd either say nothing at all or lie and tell them you were as happy as could be with him. But something about Steve made you want to let go of your inhibitions and just say it how it was. Like because he was such a breath of fresh air and so different from your other neighbors, you didn't feel the need to put on airs around him. "No. I didn't."
He nodded, surprised and glad that you hadn't lied. "So does he really deserve a say in what you do right now?"
Sure, it was a loaded question, and he was clearly coaxing you into answering a certain way, but it wasn't exactly a lie. "No, he does not."
Steve grinned before holding his hand out again. "Come on, darlin'. Let me sweeten that tongue of yours."
Your mind felt fuzzy at his words and you immediately took his hand, allowing him to gracefully pull you up onto your feet. He let go once you were standing and you were almost disappointed, but when he held his arm forward for you to link yours with, you were smiling wider than you had in a while.
Larry's Sweet Shoppe was a cutesy little dessert parlor, always quiet at this time of day. You and Steve sat in a booth away from the windows, almost as though you were both consciously aware that the less people that saw a married woman eating ice-cream with a single man, the better.
"He gets worse when she visits," You admitted to him, resting your chin on your hand. "Or maybe I only think that because he spends more time at home when she's here."
"You know, I'd like to meet this Paul," Steve said, his eyebrows furrowing. "It'd be nice to find out what a true idiot looks like."
You laughed at his words, shaking your head. "You're too much, Steve."
The waiter then came over with your order, placing down the ice-cream sundae you had decided to share. You and Steve both said your thank-yous to him before he walked away again, leaving you alone with the sweet treat.
"You go first," You ordered him, eagerness in your eyes and voice. "I want to see your very first reaction to Larry's ice-cream."
He chuckled and complied, digging his spoon into the soft serve before bringing it up to his mouth and taking a bite. His eyes lit up and he groaned. "Oh, God. Yeah, that's good."
The sound of his pleasure made your legs squeeze together, and you hid your excitement with a laugh. "Nobody does it better than Larry."
Steve nodded with agreement, quickly scooping up another bigger bite and putting it in his mouth. This time, some ice-cream had evaded his tongue and ended up on his cheek, making you giggle.
"Hold on," You said gleefully, before bending over the table. "Got some on your..." Using your thumb, you slowly began to wipe it off.
His eyes shamelessly flickered down and stayed hooked on your cleavage which was now right in his face, dark hunger growing on his features. Feeling exhilarated at the idea of a man other than Paul being turned on by you, you took your time in wiping up the cream.
"Oops," You whispered, slightly pushing your arms in to accentuate your chest even more, making him swallow thickly before you continued. "Missed a spot..."
He hummed, before looking up to meet your eyes. "Yeah. You should... make sure you get it all."
Once it had been way too long, you retracted your ice-cream covered thumb and sat back. You stuck your tongue out and licked it all off, keeping your eyes glued to his the entire time.
Steve's lips parted as he watched you, not even trying to hide how aroused he was by your actions. "There goes that naughty little tongue."
The sundae sat between you, melting and neglected. All that mattered was that you kept looking at Steve and he kept looking right back at you, your eyes saying all the things that you were forbidden from saying out loud.
"Steve?" A shrill voice suddenly sounded out from behind you, pulling you from your warped staring competition.
He looked over your shoulder at her, a polite smile growing on his lips. "Evenin', Mrs. Lee."
She arrived at your table, a wide smile on her lips. "How many times, Steve? Call me Mel!"
Melanie's eyes were bright until they landed on you, and then they were shocked. "Oh. Hi there, Y/N."
"Hey, Mrs. Lee," You replied with a small wave. She didn't ask you to call her Mel.
"How are you doing?" She asked Steve. "You enjoying yourselves?"
"Steve hadn't been here yet, and as it's such a staple of our small town, I just had to bring him," You tell her, knowing the story will make its rounds through Hibiscus Lane before morning breaks, so you may as well embellish the truth a little.
"How lovely," She commented, and you could almost see the grapevine-esque cog of gossip churning in her head. "Well, I'll leave you to it. Have fun." Before leaving, Melanie squeezed your shoulder and shot you a wink.
What was that about?
Grace's words from your grocery shopping trip echoed in your head. Melanie's coy attitude along with Steve's uncharacteristic quietness proved that what Grace had told you was true; Steve had slept with her. The payment part was yet to be confirmed, but if one half of the story was true, the other half likely was to.
Not wanting to make Steve feel awkward, you continued to act innocently unaware and unsuspicious. "Mrs. Lee is nice. She can be a little intrusive, but her intentions are good." Not really, but you thought it would be less awkward to change the subject with praising her rather than insulting her.
"I agree," Steve replied, looking you up and down curiously. You knew that he was wondering whether you knew the truth, and so you tried even harder to act like you didn't.
"She probably has a little crush on you," You whispered teasingly, picking up your spoon and shooting him a wink. "She has a thing for younger guys."
Steve laughed, though it sounded awfully like a breath of relief. "You think so? Think I have a chance?"
You snorted, your cheeks heating up when he winked at you. "You're too much, Steve."
As it turned out, running was fun.
At first, it was horrible. You could barely go twenty seconds without feeling the need to collapse. But after a few weeks passed, you could keep up with Steve for a good eight minutes before falling into a speed walk beside him.
"I don't know how you do it," You said through heavy breaths, letting the cool evening breeze wash over you as you lightly jogged alongside him. "Or why. This is torture."
"You don't like that burn?" He asked with a wide grin, turning his head towards you as he slowed down his pace to ensure he didn't get too far ahead of you. "Doesn't it feel good?"
"Absolutely not," You laughed, before pondering on it. "Actually, I suppose it feels okay afterwards."
"Right?" Steve said with a smirk. "Feels like you can do anything, doesn't it? Like you're invincible?"
"I don't know if I'd go that far, but sure," You said flatly, making him snort.
"You just need to get a little more used to it," He informed you, moving closer to nudge you before moving back to his original position. "And once you're used to the pain, you start craving it."
There was something about the way he spoke that caused bubbles to erupt in your core. You had never before in your life been so flustered at something as simple as a few words, but his voice and candor and cadence combined wonderfully into a cocoon of delight, that would then erupt into dozens of butterflies in your stomach.
Finally, he came to a stop, right next to a bench on which you sat.
"What have I told you about sitting down straight away?" He asked with a warning tone, before dragging you back up to your feet. "Come on; warm-down walk. Get those legs moving, sweetheart."
With a groan, you did as he said, because you would have happily done anything that meant more time spent with him. You knew it was wrong but you really didn't care; it wasn't as though you were doing anything to betray your marriage.
As it had been a few weeks now of you and Steve hanging out, the gossip had died down. The other women on Hibiscus Lane got bored of your platonic friendship and decided that you were too boring and committed to your husband to solicit sex from Steve, which you were thrilled about. It meant it was less likely for word to get to Paul that you had made a new friend; one which you somehow doubted he'd be happy that you were spending time with.
While you walked, Mrs. Michaels in number 87 began approaching from the opposite direction. You didn't miss the sigh that left Steve's lips, but you didn't ask him what he seemed so frustrated about until she passed by.
"Hi there, Steve," She said slyly, smiling up at him before patting his chest. "Forgot to tip you last time."
You held back your shock when you saw that she had handed him $50 right in the middle of the park, but the three of you continued on your respective journeys. With a tight-lipped smile, you kept your face forward. "Well, that was odd of her to say. Anyway, I was thinking-"
"You don't have to pretend like you don't know," Steve cut you off suddenly, making your heart pound. "I know how fast gossip spreads around here. I'm not dumb."
Biting your lip, you glance over at him. "I'm sorry."
Steve stopped in his tracks, grabbing your arm and stopping you, too. "Sorry for what? I'm not ashamed of it. In fact, I've been waiting for you to ask."
Your eyes widened at his admission. "Uh... I-"
"Oh God, not like that," He said quickly, letting go of your arm. "I meant ask about it. Not for it."
Swallowing, you slowly nodded, though you did everything but understand in that moment. "What is it?"
He softly chuckled, before nodding his head towards the path and continuing the walk, with you rushing to catch up and strolling next to him.
"There's not really any way of sugarcoating it," Steve began, keeping an eye on you as though to gauge your reaction. "Women pay me to have sex with them. It's my side job; a way to make some extra cash."
You did your best to remain completely expression-free, only letting out a hum. Truthfully, you didn't think any less of him. If anything, his confidence in the matter only made him more attractive.
Attractive? Where the fuck did that come from?
"I see," You said carefully, folding your arms across your chest when a chilly breeze blew over you. "I mean, I did hear some things. I just wasn't really sure."
"I'd like to think we're good enough friends by now for you to feel comfortable enough to ask," Steve said softly, his words making you smile.
"I guess I saw it as... private," You told him with a shrug. "And we are. Good friends, I mean. I hope you know that I don't judge you or anything like that."
"I know you don't, sweetheart," He said lowly. "That's why I'm so comfortable with talking about it to you."
You continued walking in a peaceful silence, a new atmosphere between you. There was no sense of mystery or shrouded truth anymore; it was lighter.
"My typical clients are housewives," Steve told you after some minutes with a smirk. "Wanna know why?"
He was dangling the bait and you gladly bit, because you genuinely wanted to know. "Why?"
He stopped again, but he didn't need to grab your arm for you to stop with him. Facing each other, yot met one other's eyes. Steve towered over you, his stature making you shiver under the silver moonlight that shone through his golden hair. "The thing about housewives is they're usually unfulfilled in some way. And that tends to make them frustrated. Their frustration builds, and builds..." He emphasized each repetition more than the last, making your head spin. "And builds. Until one day, they find themselves at the door of someone like me. And you know what they do next?"
You shook your head, your voice a mere whisper. "What do they do next?"
He took a step closer to you before leaning his head down. "They beg me to fuck their brains out."
Your eyebrows raised up on their own accord, mirroring the way your heart jumped. "Oh."
With a smirk, he continued. "And for the right price, they get exactly what they ask for."
Feeling like your mouth was full of cotton, you couldn't do anything but stare up at him with parted lips. And that's all you did.
Steve chuckled softly at your stupor. "Come on, sweetheart," He said, gently tapping the tip of your nose. "I think you've warmed down enough."
Six weeks. It had officially been six entire weeks and Anita still hadn't gone home. Needing a break from her, you begged Paul to take you to the carnival that was passing through town. It was the last day the carnival would be there, and you desperately needed a change of scenery and to hear something other than Anita's whining.
"I swear, I'll do it this time," He said with a frown, handing the vendor another $5.
"Here you go, Sir," The bored teenaged girl replied before giving him another three turns to just shoot one of the damn ducks down.
"Literally sitting ducks," You muttered, regretting ever telling him that you wanted him to win the blue teddy bear for you.
"Shut up," Paul hissed at you, his knuckles turning white as his fingers tightened around the plastic rifle which he held up. "I'll get one of the bastards this time."
He took the first shot, unsurprisingly failing miserably. Then he took the second, missing by just a hair. And his third shot was also a failure, because your husband was a useless failure who did nothing but fail.
"It's alright, honey," You said flatly, patting his shoulder.
"This stupid game is rigged!" Paul huffed, slamming the rifle back down onto the counter. The vendor's eyes widened before she turned to serve another customer, leaving you embarrassed.
The voice was so recognizable to you by then that you almost jumped with glee at the sound of it. Turning around, you smiled when you saw him. "Hi, Steve!"
"Hey," He replied, quickly scanning you up and down before his eyes fell onto Paul.
"Steve, this is my husband, Paul," You introduced him reluctantly, before turning your head. "Paul, this is Steve Rogers; he moved into number 99 a couple of months ago."
Paul nodded slowly, before taking Steve's outstretched hand and shaking it. You remembered the times Steve joked that he'd sock Paul in the jaw when he met him because of all the times he had to be the one cheering you up when Paul had been an idiot, and you had to hold back your laughs.
"So you're the man my wife's been spending all her time with," Paul said bitterly, making you nudge his side.
"I am?" Steve asked, raising a brow.
"Anyway," You interjected, sensing the brewing the tension between them. "You having fun at the carnival, Steve?"
His face relaxed when he looked down at you, a warm smile blooming on his lips. "I absolutely am. I came for work, but it's been surprisingly pleasurable."
"Oh, Steve works in construction," You quickly informed Paul, before looking back at the blue-eyed beauty himself. "You here for safety surveillance, or something?"
"Actually, since the carnival is leaving first thing in the morning, they hired a couple of us to help them with pack-up duty tonight," He tells you. "Wanted to see it in action before tearing it all down."
"Nice," You commented with a grin, but there was a slight dread in the pit of your stomach because you could almost hear what Paul was thinking. He had always looked down on manual laborers, calling them unskilled high-school dropouts, and you just hoped he'd keep his irritating mouth shut.
"No luck with the ducks?" Steve asked, gesturing to the stall behind you.
Pressing your lips together to stop yourself from laughing (because Paul would lose it if you laughed at him), you shook your head. "Paul theorizes that it's rigged."
"Huh," Steve huffed, determination growing on his features. "I'll see about that."
Your heart soared as he gently pushed past you, his shoulder nudging yours. He handed the vendor the money before picking up the rifle, and you couldn't help but notice how much better he looked holding it than Paul. It just seemed more natural in his hands, and you let yourself imagine he was a fierce hunter shooting down some wild boar in the forest that he'd bring home for you to cook and then you'd feed it to him and he'd tell you how good it tasted and you'd blush and-
Holy fuck. Focus.
One shot. That's all it took him. With one shot, Steve had successfully downed a duck, making you let out an excited squeal.
"You did it!" You said, clapping your hands together. Hearing Paul grumble from behind you about how it was just a fluke and he was going to get a beer, you just grinned even harder.
"Congratulations, Sir," The vendor said, smiling for once. "What prize would you like?"
Noticing that Paul had left, Steve turned his head to you slightly, tapping the counter. "Which one do you want, darlin'?"
Your cheeks heat up and you instinctively stepped closer to him. "You- you don't have to-"
"Tell me," He insisted gently, making your heart stammer. "Which one?"
Biting your lip, you brushed your arm against his bashfully. "The blue bear."
Steve turned back to the vendor and nodded, "You heard the lady."
The vendor happily picked up the pole and pulled down the fluffy blue bear from the row of stuffed toys, handing it to you with a smile. "There you are, ma'am."
"Thank you so much," You said to her with a grin, before looking up at Steve, clutching the teddy to your chest. "Thank you, Steve."
"That's what I'm here for," He said as you both moved away from the stall. "And if your husband wasn't keeping you company, I'd spend the rest of the day winning you everything else you wanted."
What a crying shame that you had come with Paul. What a lost opportunity.
"What are you gonna name him?" Steve asked you with a mischievous grin.
Giggling, you looked down at the bear and tilted your head. "Huh. I don't know. How about you name him? You're the one that won him, after all."
"No, I think Mom should go ahead and name him," Steve said with a chuckle, before pointing at himself. "Dad isn't very good at names."
He was only joking, but you couldn't help but feel a tug at your heart. You wondered, if you were in some alternate universe where you were married to Steve instead of Paul, would Steve be as disappointed to learn that you couldn't have children? Even now, just as your friend, would he see you as less of a woman for it?
"You okay?" He asked, concern in his eyes as he rubbed your arm.
"Uh, yeah, I just..." You trailed off, before that panic grew in your chest and your vision blurred. "Sorry, I just-"
"Hey, is everything alright?" Steve pulled you over to the side, away from the crowds. "Is it what I said? I'm sorry, I-"
"No, it's not your fault, you were only joking- it's stupid," You shook your head, wondering why you were suddenly feeling so overly emotional about it. "I'm being stupid."
"What is it?" He asked softly, placing one of his hands on your back and rubbing it comfortingly.
"I can't- I can't have-" You choked whenever you tried to get the words out, like some invisible block was stopping you. "I can't even fucking say it, it's so stupid."
"It is not stupid," Steve assured you. "And you don't have to say it. Whatever it is, it's okay, I promise."
His comfort was what you had been craving ever since that day in the doctor's office. The day Paul looked down at you with disgust and betrayal on his face, as though you had chosen to become infertile. The day he drove you home before driving off again, staying out until the next day, leaving you to cry alone in your bed.
You couldn't help it. The dam broke open and you fell into tears, your face buried in Steve's chest as you tried to control yourself. Strings of apologies and sobs left your mouth, while he held you tightly in his arms.
"Shh, there is absolutely nothing for you to be sorry about," He swore, gently rocking you while stroking your hair. "Just let it out, baby. Cry as much as you need to. I'm here for you. Promise."
"What the fuck is going on here?" A cold voice called out, making you gasp and stiffen in Steve's embraced.
Quickly, you pulled away from him, wiping away your hot tears. "Nothing, Paul. I just... I got reminded of my parents, and... just missing home, is all."
Paul's glare burned into you, but not in the hypnotic way that Steve's eyes would. In the cold, brutal way that made you feel small and worthless. "Come on," He said gruffly, beer bottle in hand. "We're going home."
Steve didn't look happy when he felt you move further away from him. When Paul turned his back and began walking away, you pressed the bear to Steve's chest. "Here; take him."
He shook his head, "I won him for you, sweetheart."
"Please," You begged, meeting his eyes before whispering, "He'll only make me throw it away."
Frowning, Steve reluctantly took the bear, his concerned gaze never once leaving you as you walked away from and followed Paul to the exit, your heart heavy and your nose runny.
You began sunbathing with Susan a lot more often.
Part of you wanted to ask her whether she knew about Steve's side job, but you didn't want to expose his secret when it wasn't yours to tell.
"I'm loving these afternoons with you," She hummed with delight, a lazy grin on her lips as she faced the bright sky. "It's so much nicer to have a whore to partner up with, you know? Show these old crones what fun looks like, because God knows they've long forgotten."
You snorted at her words, shaking your head. "You're a riot, Sue."
"Speaking of riots; you didn't happen to hear Jerry and I last night, did you?" She asked, making you grimace.
"Oh God, Susan-"
"I just mean things got pretty loud!" She said with a laugh. "I was half-expecting you to come knocking, to make sure I was still alive. It's just that he learnt how to do this new thing with his tongue..."
Though you put on the disgusted act at how open she was being, you were secretly glad that her and Jerry had such a fulfilled married life. It meant she was less likely to hire Steve, which brought you some solace because she was your only real friend on Hibiscus Lane. You didn't mind knowing that Steve had slept with any of the others, but you'd feel a little off if you knew Susan was one of his clients. You weren't sure why, but you didn't really want to unpack those feelings in case something you didn't want to know about yourself came to light.
You told yourself you were only glad because you were rooting for Susan and Jerry's marriage. Yes. That was why. No other reason.
Losing track of time, you ended up still being out in Susan's front garden in nothing but a bikini when Paul got home from work. You had done well up until that point to hide your afternoon activities from him, and you knew he'd be pissed. And now, you were going to face the brunt of it.
"Oh, Lord," Susan said, sitting up. "I'm so sorry, Y/N, I didn't even realize the time-"
"It's fine," You assured her while Jerry also turned into the street, seeing as the two worked at the same office.
Standing up, you plastered on a smile as Paul parked in the drive before leaving his Porsche, his jaw clenching when he saw you standing there in a black bikini. "Hey, honey," You called out warmly, trying to at least give the neighbors the impression that you were in a healthy relationship. "How was work?"
He slammed the door shut before storming up the path towards your front door. "Get inside. Now," He ordered you gravely, making you stiffen.
"Has Victoria's Secret lost a model or is that just my gorgeous girl?"
You turned your head at the sound of Jerry's gentle voice, watching as Susan all but jumped into his arms.
"Who are you looking so pretty for, hmm?" He asked her teasingly, before giving her a soft kiss.
She looked up at him with so much adoration, it was like she truly believed it was he who had told the sun to shine that day. "The love of my life, of course," She replied melodically before he lifted her into her arms and carried her into the house, likely to give her another show of that new thing he had learnt to do with his tongue.
You turned back to your own house with a pit of dread in your stomach. Even though it was the same size and color and had the same layout as Susan and Jerry's house, it somehow seemed much duller. It was as though it was merely an exoskeleton giving the image of a happy home, but if someone was to look at it from the side, they'd see it was just a 2D piece of wood, like a stage prop.
Thankfully, Anita was out shopping, meaning she wouldn't have been there to egg Paul on or get involved in the inevitable argument.
When you entered your house, Paul was standing in the hallway, a grave look on his face. "Do you love to embarrass me?" He asked, looking you up and down with a grimace.
You felt scrutinized under his stare, like he was a critic of Michelin star restaurants who had just walked into a dingy diner on the highway. "No, Paul. Of course not. Susan and I were just-"
"Parading your body around for the entire neighborhood to see," He cut you off bitterly. "Like a cheap slut."
His words triggered something in you. It was an anger that presented itself immaturely, causing you to want to push his buttons.
Taking a step towards him, you tilted your head. "If I'm such a slut, then why don't you fuck me like one?"
He choked on air, absolutely abhorred at your words. "What?"
"Treat me like the slut I am," You ordered, stepping closer still and raising your voice. "Come on, Paul, do it!"
"What the fuck is wrong with you?" He asked, narrowing his eyes.
"I'm a slut, that's what's wrong with me!" You yelled, grabbing his hands and placing them on your breasts. "So fuck me like it!"
Paul grabbed your shoulders and pushed you to the ground, standing over you with a baffled and disturbed look on his face. "You're fucking insane, Y/N."
You winced at the pain that shot through your back, saying nothing as he stormed up the stairs.
Grabbing a dress from the laundry room, you put it on before leaving your house. All you knew was that you couldn't stand to be there any longer. You felt foolish, and pathetic, and unwanted.
But most of all, you felt frustrated.
You crossed the street and made your way down to number 99, where you knocked on the door. It opened a few moments later, and Steve stood there, slightly surprised to see you. "Hey, sweetheart. Is everything alright?"
"No," You answered truthfully, in no mood to sugarcoat things.
He frowned, concern growing on his face. "Anything I can help you with?"
"Please, Steve," You began desperately, never once taking your eyes off of his. "Please, fuck my brains out."
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