Coming to Terms, a domestic discipline anthology of seven stories written by seven authors, is now available from LazyDay Publishing, and is on Amazon now. Please enjoy this excerpt from my story, Wife on the Lam. Post a comment and enter a drawing for a $5 Amazon gift certificate. Members of my Street Team will receive two entries for posting a comment. (Want to join my Street Team? Details here.)
From Wife on the Lam
“That bull gored me like a shish kebob. Meanest, orneriest critter I ever laid eyes on.”
“Was that why you left the rodeo?”
No, no, please don’t encourage him. Pressed against the airplane window, her eyelids shuttered tight, Janelle Gibb feigned sleep and prayed for the Texan to choke on a peanut. The man had begun talking the moment he’d squeezed his linebacker form into the middle seat minutes before take-off in Florida, and hadn’t taken a breath since. Weren’t cowboys supposed to be taciturn?
She had learned more than she ever cared to about driving, branding, and inoculating cattle, the details spelled out slower than molasses ran on a cold day. Unfortunately, the man on the aisle seemed fascinated and when the cowboy wound down, he’d rev him up again with a question.
‘Mornin’, ma’am.’ When he’d first boarded, the Texan had tried to engage her in conversation, but after he’d ma’amed her, she’d brushed him off with an insincere smile and a fake yawn, and curled up against the window, ostensibly to snooze.
Ma’am? The cowboy had to be her age, probably a few years older, although she couldn’t tell for sure because of his sunglasses. Light sensitivity caused by an eye infection. She’d gotten details on that too.
Would a ma’am wear a thong bikini like the one she had tucked in her suitcase? She looked pretty damn good for a woman who, in five days, would celebrate her twenty-second wedding anniversary.
She sniffed back tears of self-pity. With the plane’s engines humming in her right ear and the cowboy droning in her left, she’d had plenty of opportunity to consider what she’d done.
Screwed up. Big time. She’d been so hurt by Brent’s cluelessness she hadn’t thought her actions through to the logical conclusion — how alone she’d feel flying off to an island paradise by herself, how mad her husband would be when he found her note stuck to the fridge by a magnet.
Made you a casserole for dinner. Bake at 375 for 45 min. I went on vacation. See you when you get back from your business trip. Love, Janelle.
She’d been so furious, she’d hesitated whether to add the “love” part. Warm fuzzies had been absent when she scribbled the note. As a regional sales manager with a new territory, Brent had been away on business almost more than he’d been home during the past year. They’d always reserved their anniversary as a special day, and she had hoped they could spend quiet time alone to reconnect. For months, she’d dropped numerous hints she’d like to vacation at the Cabana Resort at Isla Island for their anniversary, even left the brochure on top of his golf magazine with the “couples’ getaway package” circled in red. She’d done everything except smack him over the head with the booklet.
“Looks like they have a nice golf course,” he’d commented, and then said nothing more. She’d wondered if maybe he hadn’t planned to surprise her, but he dashed those hopes by announcing he had an out-of-town sales conference during their anniversary.
“We’ll do something after I get back,” he’d promised. And then he had shrugged. Shrugged! At that moment, she decided she would go the resort, with or without him.
“Besides it’s not like it’s a milestone, like twenty or twenty-five.” He had added insult to injury.
Definitely not like twenty. For that he’d given her a beautiful anniversary ring that she wore on her left hand next to her wedding set. She twisted the multiple bands on her finger, then remembered she was supposed to be asleep. Had her loquacious seatmate noticed? She cracked an eyelid.
“Did you have a good nap little lady?” the Texan drawled.
“Yes, thank you.” She eased to a more upright position and stretched her legs, bumping her beach bag crammed under the seat in front. The tote had to double as a purse and a second piece of luggage, because she hadn’t been able to find her large suitcase, and couldn’t ask Brent. Everything she’d need for a week was stuffed into her beach bag and the bursting-at-the-seams overnight case, which she’d forced into the overhead.
Fortunately, a thong didn’t occupy a lot of space.
Which could not be said for the Texan. He sat with his legs planted apart like he’d paid for the entire row. His knee had brushed against hers, and she’d shifted her legs to the side, but that only encouraged him to spread out more.
“Are you travelin’ for business or pleasure?” he asked.
Something about the way pleasure rolled off his tongue made her uncomfortable, and she inched closer to the window. “Vacation,” she muttered.
What if he was headed to the Cabana Resort? Don’t panic. A popular vacation mecca, Isla Island boasted a multitude of resorts, hotels, and timeshares. The odds of them staying at the same place were slim. The Cabana spanned multiple acres with over 200 rooms and bungalows, a gorgeous white sand beach, three restaurants, the golf course Brent had pronounced ‘nice,’ a full-service spa, and four swimming pools. Worst-case scenario? She could avoid him.
From the tilt of his head, she guessed he was checking out her wedding rings. “Your husband must be meeting you then,” he said.
“Yes, he is,” she lied. She spied a telltale circle of white on his tanned left hand. Oh great. She may have spent her entire adult life as a married woman, but that didn’t mean she’d fallen off a turnip truck. She knew exactly what kind of vacation this man hoped for.
“Been married long?” he asked. He held his Stetson on his thigh; the overhead had been full by the time he boarded. The gray wide-brimmed hat appeared brand new as if he’d just purchased it. People often bought new clothes for vacation. Did cowboys buy new hats?
“Twenty-two years. My husband and I were high school sweethearts.” She’d met Brent when they auditioned for their school play, Oklahoma! He’d gotten a part — the starring role of Curly — but she hadn’t. But he asked her out, and they’d been together ever since.
Whatever had convinced her that running off would alleviate her disappointment?
From day one, their marriage had stood firmly on three legs: love, respect, and communication. They discussed everything. Brent always sought her opinion before making his final decision as head of their household. When she messed up, they talked about that, before and
after he spanked her. They’d had a domestic discipline relationship since college when she flirted with a classmate in an impulsive, immature attempt to make him jealous. It had worked like a charm. She’d received a lecture on respect, and her first spanking.
There’d be no talking her way out of this one. When she returned home, she’d be paddled for sure. Better enjoy my vacation while I can.
“I’m surprised your husband let you travel alone.”
Of all the audacity! She scowled at him, cognizant that the guy seated on the aisle could hear every word. And probably everyone in the rows in front and behind them. For all his drawl, the cowboy’s voice carried.
“I wouldn’t let my wife do that,” he continued. Something — a hint of dominance? — briefly reminded her of Brent, but other than general build, he shared little in common with him. Her tall, dark-haired husband was clean shaven, meticulous in his grooming, unlike this blond cowboy whose bushy, droopy mustache bracketed his constantly moving mouth. What made men think growing a strip of hair right under their noses served a purpose? And all the way down to his jaw? Ugh.
Always polite, her husband never pried. Firm, yes, he laid down the law, but he was fair. Despite what had happened with their anniversary, he was a thoughtful, good man. Boy, did she screw up.
“I beg your pardon,” she purred with saccharin sweetness. “But I don’t think my marriage is any of your business.”
“If I overstepped my bounds, then I apologize…ma’am.”
* * * *
Brent Gibb suppressed a chuckle. His wife had plastered herself against the window to escape the Texan. Served her right, after what she’d done. What had possessed her to run off like that?
Anything that could have gone wrong this morning had. He’d failed to set the alarm and had overslept. He’d rushed to the office, but forgot the paperwork for an afternoon meeting. Upon returning home mid-morning to retrieve the documents, he discovered a too-brief note from Janelle and a casserole.
He’d logged onto her computer and found her email itinerary to Cabana Resort at Isla Island. Not only had she pulled a fast one, she’d ruined his anniversary present.
He’d gotten the message the first time she oh-so-casually mentioned the resort, and had booked the “Diamond Special” package. Nosy and not the least bit hesitant to snoop, she was difficult to surprise, so he’d kept the tickets in his briefcase and hid their packed suitcases in the trunk of his car. To throw her off track, he’d fed her a line of bull about an out-of-town conference. She was steamed, but he figured she’d forgive him when he whipped out the tickets when she drove him to the airport for his “business trip.”
Instead, she’d flown the coop.
After calling the resort to change accommodations, he quickly crafted a plan, and then hauled ass to the airport. He’d sneaked on board with Janelle none the wiser.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Sue Lyndon, Confession Time
Alta Hensley,This Moment
Jade Cary, Days With You
Celeste Jones, Reconnecting
Anastasia Vitsky, Tomorrow
Renee Rose, Spank and Run
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