My face is just as bad as I expect. Blotchy skin. Swollen eyes. Black tear tracks down my cheeks. I carefully remove the makeup and spend a few minutes with a cold washcloth over my face. It won’t help all that much, but at this point something is better than nothing. I hardly look like the seductress who started this weekend; more like a scared mess of a woman who doesn’t know what Monday will bring.
I debate putting on more makeup, but it won’t do much good until my skin calms down, and I don’t think Shane is going to let me hide up here for over an hour until that happens. I press my hands to my eyes and take a deep breath. I can do this. He’s seen me without makeup more often than he’s seen me with a full face of it on. I was hardly worried on long pool days when my hair was stiff with chlorine and my nose was sunburned from taking too long to reapply sunscreen.
I also didn’t know what Shane’s cock tasted like on those days.
Or have a plug in my ass that he put there.
I take a deep breath, smooth down my skirt, and give my hair a toss. That will have to do.
I find him in the little nook connected to the kitchen, setting up a cribbage board, and stop short in the doorway. “What are you doing?”
“It’s been a while since we played.” Shane shuffles the cards, bridging them in a really satisfying sound that takes me back. Max never enjoyed this game, but my grandfather had taught me as a kid and Shane knew how to play, so we’d spent quite a few evenings in this exact spot while Max watched movies in the living room.
“Shane…” I don’t know why I’m hesitating.
He finally looks at me. “We won’t talk about him, but there’s plenty of other shit we can talk about.” His lips quirk up. “Sit down and play with me, Lily.”
It seems simple enough, and I find I do want to play.
I sit, and immediately jump at how it makes the plug move. Shane grins at me, wickedly delighted. “Problem?”
“You know damn well it’s the plug you put up my ass,” I mutter, but I can’t help smiling a little too. This is too ridiculous. And it doesn’t feel bad. Just strange. We cut the deck to see who deals first, and it falls to me. As I shuffle, I watch him. “You know, your cock is significantly larger than this plug. If you try to shove it in my ass, you’re going to rip me in half.”
Shane arches his brows and takes the seat catty-corner to me just like he always does. “You’ve been fucking the wrong people, Lily. Everything goes smoother when you slow things down. Including my fucking your ass.” He says it like it’s a sure thing.
I’m not certain he’s wrong.
“Uh huh.” I deal the cards and we don’t speak for a few moments as we get our hands together. Each round of cribbage is split into two parts, and we fall into the rhythm of it as if it hasn’t been three months since we played last. “I’m sorry I haven’t been around much. Things got hard with…” I stop myself in time. I say I don’t want to talk about Max, but he just keeps coming up, making a liar out of me.
Shane lays down his hand and counts out his points, and waits for me to do the same. It’s only after I’ve moved my peg that he says, “How’s work going?”
I flash him a grateful smile. “Really, really good. The permanent position at Midway High School has been so great. I feel like I get a lot of support from the principal and the district, and the kids are just… the best. They’ve been the highlight of the school year.”
He shuffles and deals the cards out for the second hand. “They aren’t giving you shit?”
“They’re high schoolers.” I laugh a little. “Of course they give me shit. I’m young and I’m new, and even if I wasn’t, it’s natural for them to want to test boundaries.”
This time, I get more points in the first round, and the second round. Shane pushes the cards to me so I can shuffle. “If you were my high school teacher, I wouldn’t have been able to focus on shit.”
“If I was your high school teacher…” I pretend to think. “Pretty sure corporeal punishment was allowed back then. I would have smacked the shit out of your hands with a ruler.”
Shane glares at me, but he’s blatantly fighting not to smile. “I’m forty-seven, Lily. Hardly Grandfather Time.”
“I know.” A laugh escapes. A real one, loud and freeing. “I promise I know.” By the time I deal out the third hand, I’m mostly in control of myself. “And your work? Have you wrapped up that big project?” They’d been working on a new shopping mall in the area, a huge deal for Shane’s company to be in charge of.