A Fragile Wife(12)

By: Cynthia Dane

“The package?” Ken asked, holding his hand out.

“Oh, yeah.” Finally, Chloe stepped forward. Ken snatched the package from her as if it were nothing.

He turned away from Lana and inspected his mail. His wife, meanwhile, sat up and kicked her legs over the side of her lounge chair. “That’ll be all, Chloe,” she said curtly. “I’m sure you have other things to be doing.” And one of those things is not staring at my husband’s body. That was Lana’s job around those parts.

“No, wait a second, please.” Ken motioned for Chloe to come to him, where they conspired about something over by the bushes. What the? Lana jumped up, snatching her husband’s towel from its lounge chair and wrapping it around her body.

Just as she was about to descend upon husband and help, Ken shoved the package in Chloe’s hands and practically shoved her toward the house.

“You know where to leave it,” he hissed.

Lana stopped. Oh hell no. She watched Chloe scurry back into the mansion as if her ass were lit in an inferno.

“What was all that about? What was in the package?”

Ken wrapped a wet arm around her shoulders. Fuck off, this bathing suit isn’t supposed to get wet. She didn’t dare say that out loud. Her husband would take that as an invitation to toss her into the pool.

“Nothing important, Bunny.” His kiss to her cheek was facetious at best. “Boring shit for work that should’ve been sent to the downtown office.”

Lana narrowed her brows as her husband slipped back into the pool and performed some languid backstrokes in the sunlight. If it were for work, he wouldn’t have talked about it with Chloe. That girl was so low on the staff totem pole that neither Ken nor Lana would talk more than five seconds to her. And that would be to give the order. Not… whatever Ken was saying to her in such a low voice that Lana never had a chance of hearing.

There was something funny going on in her house. Before, Lana drank herself into an afternoon stupor out of irrational fears. Now she wondered if those fears were rational after all.

If they were, then Ken could say goodbye to everything. He could get away with a lot of shit, but cheating on his wife – let alone falling in love with some nobody like Chloe – would mean his imminent downfall.

“I’ll get to the bottom of this,” Lana mumbled, heading back into the house. First, a mimosa on the balcony upstairs. She could better admire her husband’s athleticism from there. It may very well be the last time she bothered before the messiest divorce of the decade.

Chapter 4

“Show Her No Mercy.”

The windshield wipers squeaked against the glass as the car ascended the next hill. Lana opened her compact, a light glaring against her mirror and preventing her from touching up her lipstick.

Just as well, for Ken hit the same pothole he always hit every time they went into the mountains.

“That was almost a disaster,” Lana said, putting her compact and lipstick back in her purse. “One of these days I’ll learn that you barely know how to drive.”

Ken turned the high beams back on after passing another car. “And yet you let me drive you everywhere. And have yet to divorce me.”

He was being facetious, but Lana didn’t have much patience for it. “Just don’t kill us before we can get laid.”

“I love how you always speak of us as a single unit.”

“Why not? Everyone else does.” Lana wasn’t immune to the comments she heard around the club and other social spheres. Everyone called them “the Andrews” because Lana very conveniently changed her name after getting married. What woman wouldn’t? She heard all the feminist reasoning to, ironically, hang on to her father’s last name, but when you were born Lana Losers, you changed your last name when you married whether the man was named Griswold or Habbernacky.

Lana Giselle Andrews. She glanced at herself in the rearview mirror and patted the top of her bun. That’s what I look like. The more she thought about divorce recently, the more she wondered what she would do about her name. Besides keep it, of course. Wouldn’t that get confusing? Sure, it was lazy and convenient to stay Andrews. She could always change it in her next marriage, if there was one.

Funny. She thought about divorce, she even though about her husband remarrying and shrugging over it, but the thought of remarrying a brand new man? I would spend the rest of my life comparing him to Ken. Lana glanced at her husband. Ken was absorbed in his own world of staying on the road.

They were heading up to Le Château, a regular destination of theirs regardless of the time of year or how they felt deep inside. In fact, Lana would go as far as to say they were the biggest regulars at the local BDSM brothel. Excuse me. House of pleasure.