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What the hell? I've returned from deployment to discover that my wife has a secret. Apparently, my sweet spouse has started writing naughty books for a living.
Unbeknownst to her, I’ve read them all, so I know she likes her men strong, commanding, and completely in charge. She’s also a bit of a voyeur.
Now that I know what she desires, her fantasies and mine are about to become a reality. We’ll see if Melanie is ready for my rules. Ready or not, she will get what she needs…
Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains elements of power exchange.
“What time are we leaving for the party, hon?” Jason asked his wife, Melanie, as he headed to the shower.
“Seven. Marjorie wants to get an early start. The baby still keeps her up a lot at night, so she wants everyone out by midnight,” she responded from the other room.
“I’m glad that those days are behind us.”
“Well at forty-five, I think my days of popping out babies are definitely over, so you’re safe,” she said with a smile as she strolled into the bathroom with a pile of freshly washed towels in her arms.
Jason had just arrived home recently from a prolonged deployment in the Middle East. As a Navy SEAL with over twenty years of service, they had spent a lot of their married life apart. Experience had shown him that it always took a while for them to readjust to each other, and they were still definitely in their readjustment phase. To add to the adjustment, their son, Sean, had started college six months ago, so they were now empty nesters. Without Sean as a buffer, things were unquestionably a bit stilted.
“Care to join me?” he asked without a lot of hope. Since his return a week ago, they had made love twice. Both times he had initiated it. Both times had lacked the spark of lovers who had been separated for nearly a year.
“Sorry. I already put on my makeup.”
Like he thought, not a surprising response. It looked like it was going to be him and his hand in the shower dealing with the mounting sexual tension that he could feel growing as he looked at his wife. Jason had been very pleasantly surprised to see that in his absence, Melanie had gotten into really great shape. The body of the hot, sexy wife of his twenties was back. He thought maybe it's like the saying goes, she’s just not that into you, as he stepped under the hot stream of water. Well, if nothing else, at least he would be jerking off in the comfort of his own home with a decent supply of hot water.
As he stroked himself up and down as roughly and efficiently as he could, he thought of Melanie’s long brown hair, her round tits, and most especially her delicious ass. He loved to take her from behind. Melanie was a vanilla girl, so her bottom hole was off limits in reality, but in his imagination, her naughty hole was all his. As he came, he thought longingly of the days when they couldn’t get enough of each other. There had to be a way back to those days, he thought to himself. He just had to find it.
“Happy Birthday, Jack,” Jason said with enthusiasm as they entered the birthday boy’s home. “How does it feel to be twenty-five?”
“Probably a lot better than it feels to be forty-five, old man,” he replied.
“Hey, show some respect for your superior, Jackie boy,” Rick, Jason’s long time buddy and second in command, shot back jokingly at the youngster. “Just because it’s your birthday won’t stop us from whooping your ass.”
“Gentleman,” Marjorie interrupted with a big smile and a baby on her hip. “And I use that term loosely, I’d like to say that I have first dibs on that ass. You had him for ten months and twelve days. He’s all mine.” She walked up to her husband, Jack, and planted a big noisy kiss on his mouth and swatted the ass that she had just claimed.
When they disengaged, Jack reached for the son that he had only met in person a week ago, despite the fact that little Johnny was three months old. The Internet made the long separations easier than they used to be, but there was no substitute for being face to face. He was their first child, but Jason was happy to see that Jack looked very comfortable with his boy in his arms. Jack was obviously a natural father.
“Can I get you two a beer?” Jack asked his superiors, although to call them superiors when they were off duty was unnecessary. The band of brothers that Jason led were just friends when they were out of uniform.
“Make mine a double,” Rick teased, as Jack headed to the fridge to get the cold beverages.
The three men and the baby headed into the living room with their beers in hand and joined the other men and their wives and girlfriends. Everyone from their eight-man squad was in attendance except for Kowalski, who would presumably be there at any moment. With the kind of lives that they led, these eight men, their significant others, and their children were closer than most families.
“Jack, does Marjorie need help in the kitchen?” Melanie asked as she rose from the couch a few minutes later.
“That would be great. All the food is ready to come out of the oven.”
Jason watched as his wife hurried off to assist Marjorie. Always ready to lend a helping hand or to be a shoulder to cry on, she, in many ways, was a mother or big sister to the younger wives. He was always proud to call her his. He hoped that she still felt the same way about him. Since he had returned home, she spent more time at the gym or on her computer than she did with him. He had no idea where her head was at, but he knew that he needed to find out.
Seeing Jason watching Melanie’s posterior as she exited, Rick leaned in and whispered, “Your wife is looking mighty fine. Janie tells me that she has become a regular gym rat.”
Normally hearing a man comment on his wife’s looks would have riled Jason up, but he knew that Rick was just stating a fact. Rick and Janie were their best friends, and he knew that the man who always had his back in combat was not on the make for his woman.
“Yea, she’s there more than she’s home,” he answered sullenly.
“Do I detect trouble in paradise?”
“Nah, you know how it is. It always takes us a bit to get back in the groove,” Jason replied to Rick. However if he was being truthful with himself, he would have admitted that it had been a number of years since they had been in a groove. But for today, he was going to stick with his story.
“I know, brother. Maybe I should give you some pointers, because Janie can’t seem to get enough of me right now,” Rick replied with a masculine chuckle and a slap on Jason’s back. Catching his wife’s eye from across the room, their joint gaze was nothing short of smoldering. Jason couldn’t help feeling jealous of Rick and Janie and their connection.
“No thanks, Marvin Gaye. But I’ll keep you in mind the next time I need tips on washing dishes,” Jason replied flatly.
“Hey, don’t knock it until you try it. Nothing gets a woman hotter than watching her man help around the kitchen.” With this, Rick rose from his chair and headed over to his wife. Taking her hand, they headed out of the room. Jason had no doubt that they would be enjoying a quickie in the bathroom before Rick returned with a smile he couldn’t wipe off his face. Not wanting to think about it, he headed into the kitchen to get himself another beer. He definitely needed another beer.
Finding the ladies busy, filling the kitchen table with the dinner buffet, Jason grabbed himself a beer. Watching Melanie flitting around the kitchen did nothing to beat down his libido. Deciding to give Rick’s advice a try, he asked, “Can I help you with anything?”
“No. I think we have it all under control,” Melanie responded without even giving him a glance. Well, so much for that advice, he thought, as he headed back into the living room with his beer. Heading to Jack’s liquor cabinet, he knew that it was definitely time to break out something stronger. Beer was just not going to cut it tonight.
Just as everyone had made it through the buffet and settled down with their food, Kowalski made his grand entrance. “Let the party begin. Kowalski is in the house!” Kowalski bellowed with his usual mix of swagger and bravado.
“Hey, I thought I told you to stay home, you loser,” Jack, now a very happy birthday boy due in part to his alcohol consumption, replied in response, before giving his friend a fist bump.
“No girl with you today? You must be losing your touch,” Rick added.
“Hey, I had to come up for air at some point. Anyway Bros before Hoes, with no offense meant to the lovely ladies in attendance at this charming birthday celebration.” Kowalski always had a way of laying it on thick.
“Yea, yea, Kowalski. The food is in the kitchen and beer is in the fridge. If you want something harder, see Jason. He’s the keeper of the Jameson tonight,” the host offered. Jack was right. Jason had already had several shots of the whiskey, and the bottle sat next to him awaiting his further attention.
Marjorie started to jump up to head into the kitchen to help Kowalski, but Melanie interrupted her ascent. “You relax, Margie, I’ll take care of it. I want to get some more salad anyway.”
When they didn’t return in five minutes or so, Jason decided that he would go see what was keeping them. To his chagrin, he walked into a scene out of a teenage romantic comedy. Kowalski was leaning up against the counter admiring Jason’s wife’s very fine ass with a leer that was worthy of James Bond. She was down on all fours mopping up some tomato sauce that had fallen on the kitchen floor. The hem of the dress she was wearing normally hit her mid-thigh. But in this position, she was on the verge of giving him a clear view of her latest Victoria Secret’s purchase.
It didn’t take more than a look at Jason’s expression to send Kowalski scurrying from the room with a sheepish look on his face. He had broken one of the cardinal rules. Thou shall not look at your commanding officer’s wife’s ass. Such actions were likely to get you handed yours.
Not able to resist, Jason moved closer to her and stroked her bottom. She jumped nearly sky high. “Kowalski, have you lost your mind? Jason is in the other room.” Seeing Jason, she relaxed as she hurried to get off the floor.
Her response hit Jason the wrong way. She seemed more concerned that Jason might see what Kowalski was doing rather than that Kowalski had touched her. Perhaps he was just reading into it too much. But for the first time, he considered that more may have changed since he’d left than Melanie getting in shape or Sean going off to college. Maybe she wasn’t just not into him. Perhaps she was into someone else. He wouldn’t be the first guy to come back from deployment to discover that his wife or girlfriend had taken up with someone else in his absence.
Jason pulled her close to him and planted a serious kiss on her red lips. “You know how much I love you, don’t you?”
She laughed, “You’re such a romantic. You have to get drunk before you remember to declare your love.” Then she pulled herself from his embrace to throw out the paper towels she was using to wipe up the spill. “Go back to the party, Jason; I am going to start the dishes for Marjorie. She shouldn’t be left with the mess to handle all alone.” Then she turned her back on him.
It didn’t go unnoticed that she hadn’t answered his question or responded with her own, ‘“I love you’.” Even through his liquor-induced haze, he knew they were in trouble. He just needed to find out whether their marriage could be saved. Tomorrow, he was going to start doing some digging. Whether she liked it or not, he was going to find out what was going on. And then things were going to change. Shakespeare coined the phrase, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” If his suspicions were true, Melanie was about to find out that hell hadn’t seen anything compared to this Navy SEAL.
“It was so weird this morning, Kurt. Jason was asking me all kinds of questions today about my schedule, before he headed off to work. He usually couldn’t care less what I’m up to as long as dinner is on the table when he gets home,” Melanie commented between sets of lunges.
“Well you are looking pretty hot these days,” Kurt replied with a big smile. As Melanie’s personal trainer, it seemed that he was determined to make her feel good about all the progress that she had made over the last six months. He was always full of compliments and rarely missed an opportunity to tell her how attractive she looked.
“So my hotness is compelling him to want to know my every move?” she replied incredulously. “You don’t know my husband and are seriously overrating my hotness.”
“Okay. Now give me fifty squats.” When she began, he continued, “But I know men. When their woman suddenly gets into shape and has an ass that makes every straight man sit up and beg, it can make him a little more jealous and possessive. Be sure to mention to him that I bat for the other team. I don’t need a batshit crazy husband thinking that I am making a play for his wife, no matter how gorgeous she is.”
“Don’t worry, Kurt. He doesn’t even know I have a trainer. He thinks that I am just working out at the gym by myself and taking classes. So you are safe.”
“Ooh, secrets,” Kurt replied. “Even I know that that never leads to anything good. I booted out my ex when I found out he was lending our money to a friend without telling me.”
Melanie paused her squats and looked at her trainer in disbelief.
“Hey, no stopping, thirty, thirty-one, thirty-two. It might seem like a small thing to you, but little secrets lead to big secrets, and big secrets lead to divorce.”
Melanie certainly hoped that Kurt was off base on this one, because she had a secret that was much bigger than this one. And she had no intention of telling Jason about that one… ever!
“What the hell?” Jason exclaimed when he saw his wife laughing and working out with a man who looked to be about thirty-years-old, six foot two, and one hundred eighty pounds of solid muscle, with the face and smile of a movie star. Jason’s Spidey senses were definitely tingling.
“What are we doing here?” Rick asked as he stood with Jason who was discretely looking in through the windows of the gym where his wife spent so much of her time.
“Something is going on with Melanie, and I am going to find out what.”
“What do you mean something is going on with Melanie?” Rick asked incredulously.
“She’s been very secretive since I’ve returned. She’s hardly home and spends all her time on her computer in the evenings. I even caught her sneaking on to the computer when she thought that I was asleep.”
“Well, maybe she couldn’t sleep,” Rick countered.
“That’s what she said, but when I went to look at her screen, she shut it down before I could see anything.”
“Come on, man. Melanie is a straight arrow, and she loves you.”
“How many times have you had sex with your wife since we got home?” Jason inquired of his buddy.
“What are you talking about?”
“How many times?” Jason asked insistently.
“I don’t know. Maybe a half dozen or more.”
“Well I’ve gotten laid twice. Twice. In the missionary position. The way I figure it, if I’m not getting it, maybe someone else is.”
“You are fucking nuts. Let’s get out of here before she sees us and has us both committed to a mental hospital,” Rick replied as he headed back to his Jeep.
Reluctantly, Jason withdrew his gaze from the scene that made his blood boil. There was his wife laughing and smiling with a man he didn’t even know. He couldn’t remember the last time he had seen her laugh and smile with him like that. Jason was going to get to the bottom of things and soon.
After quickly showering at the gym, Melanie headed out to do her errands before going to the library. As an avid reader, she was a regular there. With the house being so close to the base, she was never sure when Jason would decide to drop home. She had a deadline to meet and didn’t want any interruptions. As it was, Melanie was getting a bit exhausted with burning the candle at both ends, so to speak. Nearly every night she was staying up late or getting up after Jason fell asleep to work on her manuscript. And while she didn’t really have a firm deadline for her next book submission, she had set a personal goal of one book a month. Her publishers were thrilled with how her e-books were performing, especially given the fact that she had just started to make a name for herself. For her last manuscript, they had even given her an advance.
Quite frankly, she had been enjoying the extra income. It was allowing her to train with Kurt three times a week and put away some money for a rainy day. Jason’s military salary didn’t allow for many frills. Melanie had spent much of the last twenty years in frugal mode, just trying to make ends meet. Her hobby turned profession was allowing her to live with more comfortable financial margins. It wasn’t something that she wanted to give up.
“Hi, Mrs. Campbell,” the librarian at the front desk greeted her as Melanie walked in the front door of the library.
“Hi, Mildred. Nice day today, right?”
“It certainly is. Maybe we can start packing up our winter clothes soon.”
“This may be South Carolina, but I wouldn’t bet on it yet. It’s only March. You know that we sometimes get a stray snow storm here in April.”
“Let’s hope you are wrong. Do you need anything?”
“No, but thank you. I am just going to set up near the back on my laptop.”
“Thanks.” Melanie made her way to the back of the library and put her back to the entrance and the rest of the library. She needed to get at least 5,000 words done today and the less distractions she had the better.
Thankfully, the words flowed from her mind on to the page with ease. That was one of the things that she loved about writing. She loved how she could get lost in the lives of her characters. Their struggles and triumphs were within her control. Melanie could put herself in the shoes of the heroine and live out the dreams and fantasies that swirled around in her head. She was no longer a boring wife and mother living in an average home, living a run-of-the-mill life with a husband and a son who really didn’t need her. She was no longer the woman whose husband had to have one too many drinks before he would profess his love. Melanie loved Jason with all her heart, but the ability to live in the world of her imagination and express those dreams onto the written page was so fulfilling. She had no intention of stopping. She was living her dream, and she sure as hell wasn’t going to let anyone interfere with that dream, not even Jason.
Feigning a bit of a stomach bug, Jason headed home at lunchtime. Melanie had told him that she was going to be out all day, although she was definitely short on the details. This was his chance to play amateur detective without any interference. First stop was going to be their home office. He wanted to see her credit card bills and their bank statements. She handled all the bills. She had for years. It only made sense as Jason was often times deployed or off on assignment, and for twenty years, she had kept them afloat. Now it appeared that she had a trainer he knew nothing about. Where was she getting the money for that extravagance? Not that he really begrudged her the luxury, but he would have liked to have been consulted. It felt as if she were living a life he knew nothing about.
When he looked at the credit card statements for the last six months, Jason added up nearly five thousand dollars in fees paid to the gym, a thousand dollars in massages, and a couple of thousand dollars spent at a few of the local clothing boutiques. Melanie had always bought her clothes at Target, claiming she got the most bang for her buck there. Yet when he looked at their bank statements, they were still in the black, even with Sean’s college tuition payments. Something didn’t add up.
Jason was continuing to work his way through their filing cabinet when he found a folder stuffed in the back. It wasn’t labeled, but when he opened it, he knew that he had hit the jackpot. Inside were more than a half dozen contracts signed by Melanie with a company called XYZ publishers. If he was reading this right, his wife was an author writing under the name of Veronica North. The latest one even paid her an advance of a thousand dollars.
After jotting down the names of each of the books, he closed the folder and returned it to its hiding spot. Jason sat there dumbfounded. His wife was a published author. That was something that she should be yelling from the rafters with pride, but she was keeping it a secret. Why? That was something he was going to have to find out.