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Warning: A few suggestive pics and some talk about sex

I took Lyra’s advice a couple of days later. It was my scheduled night off from work so I planned to make that night a very sexy, romantic night for Michael and me. Once we tucked Poppy and Olive into bed and Nori was locked away in her bedroom for the rest of the night, I started to get ready.

Olive’s volunteer group helped organise a clothing drive for hurricane victims so I had been going through all of my old stuff to donate when I found a little number in the back of my closet. It had been years since I last saw that black corset lingerie and it still fit me like a glove.

I still remember that night like it was yesterday. Somehow I got it into my head that I wasn’t enough for Michael and I had been trying so hard to be the vixen I thought he wanted me to be hence the getup. Now that I’m older, I’m not as insecure about my ability to please my husband. I know now that I’m more than enough woman for him. We just needed some alone time and tonight we’d finally get it.

“Maia, have you seen my…”

He stopped short once he saw what I was wearing. “Wow!”

I smiled coyly, “Like what you see?” I know for sure he did because his eyes scanned every inch of my body as he bit down on his bottom lip.

“Wh-what’s the occasion? Is it our anniversary or something?”

“I don’t need an occasion to dress sexy for my husband, do I?” I said in the most seductive voice I could come up with. “Do you remember this outfit?”

“Of course I do!” He grinned mischievously, “That night was hot!”

“Well, tonight is gonna be even hotter once you get those pajamas off!”

“I…” He sighed. “I’m sorry baby but can I take a rain check? I promise I’ll make it up to you another time.”

My heart felt like it dropped about ten stories down. “But…why?”

“I’m just tired and I’ve got a meeting with the new owner of the art gallery at 8 am tomorrow. I don’t know why so early but I don’t wanna be late…”

“So lemme get this straight, you’re turning me down?”

“Maia, don’t be like that…”

“I put on that perfume you like, the moisturizer you like! I put on this outfit! I waxed everything, Michael! Everything! And now you’re telling me you want a rain check?!”

“Don’t get upset.”

“Why shouldn’t I? Do you realise it’s been a month since we’ve had sex!”

“You’re being unreasonable!” he groaned. “I have an appointment tomorrow morning Maia. It’s important!”

“But not as important as me?!”

“You’re acting like a spoiled brat right now!”

That just got me even more riled up. “I’m acting like a woman who’s sexually frustrated who just wants to make love to her husband! I’m not asking you to run a marathon, I’m only asking you for…I don’t know…fifteen minutes at least! You can’t give me that Michael?”

“Fine, okay, whatever. Let’s just…” He motioned towards me but I stepped back. The way he was offering himself was not acceptable to me. “Nuh-uh.” I pushed him away. “I don’t want a sympathy fuck!”

“Then what the fuck do you want, Maia?!” He yelled and I jumped a little. I thought we were over this. I thought he was done talking to me like that.

“What I want right now is to not be around you. Go sleep in the guest room since you wanna sleep so badly!”

“Fine!” He grumbled between clenched teeth.

He stormed out of there, slamming the door behind him and almost immediately, I felt awful.

Dammit! This was supposed to be a romantic night and now we’re mad and going off into separate rooms. We hadn’t had a fight like this in a long time. We learned in therapy that we should fight constructively, you know, like sit down and discuss our feelings calmly and openly just as Dr. Harris said we should. That’s how we’re supposed to deal with our conflicts and what happened just then was not the way. I followed him upstairs to the guest bedroom almost immediately. He was over by the closet getting out a blanket when I walked in.

“We’re slipping back into our old habits.”

He nodded in agreement. “I’m sorry.”

“Me too.”

“I should’ve just talked to you but I guess old habits die hard, huh?”

“What’s wrong?” I asked.

“I…I was feeling that way again and I didn’t want to use you as a distraction.” I knew what mood he was talking about. It was something we discussed a lot in therapy. I just didn’t know why he was feeling that way again after so long. “What brought this on?”

“The owner of the gallery. I hear he’s a real tight ass who has little appreciation for abstract work. If I don’t impress him then I might not get booked for as many gallery showings as I currently do which is…”

“…bad for business. I hear you.” Michael’s style was typically abstract or impressionism pieces which means if this guy didn’t like it then he would be screwed as an artist, at least in this town. Why didn’t he tell me? No wonder he wasn’t in a romantic mood.

“Yeah. I feel so much pressure, you know, so I just…got a little depressed and then frustrated and now my head’s just all over the place. Right now, I can’t be attentive towards you the way you’d like and I don’t want to make you feel used, not anymore.”

“I get it,” I said. “I’m sorry for overreacting.”

“It’s not your fault. You just want your husband to make love to you. I can’t be mad at you for that. I’m the headcase.”

“Michael, I love you and I wanna do whatever I can to make you feel better.” I put my hands on his chest, gently pushing him back until he was leaning against the desk.

“What…are you doing?” He asked, appearing confused.

“Let me take care of you.” I looked him square in the eyes so he would know I was serious. “You need me and I’m willing. Let me make you feel good.” My hands slid down his chest and rested on his crotch as he stared at me in disbelief.

“Are you sure?” He asked, but my warm hand reaching inside his pajama pants gave my answer. “Ohhh…Baby…!”

I would do anything for him even if I got nothing in return. He was tense and needed to calm down and I knew just the thing to do to get him to relax.

Neither one of us heard the door open. We just heard Poppy’s voice and then everything came to a complete stop. “Mommy? Daddy?”


It was the most embarrassing thing ever! I quickly got up from off the floor but I think that made it worse because I was basically half naked in front of my youngest daughter who just looked at us like she was scared and confused. Michael quickly pulled up his pants as I went into the closet to look for a robe. We were always so careful to lock our bedroom door when we wanted alone time. It didn’t occur to me to lock this one first since it was the guest room and none of the kids came in here as far as I knew.

I took her back to her bedroom and we sat on her bed in silence. I had no idea how to begin to explain to her what she saw. “So…uh…Poppy sweetie…about what happened in there…”

“Was the monster under your bed too?” She asked. “Is that why you and Daddy went there too?”


“The octopus monster! It’s under my bed Mommy and it’s got long tentacles and super scary!”

That monster sounded eerily similar to the one pictured in the book Olive borrowed from the library. The one about Greek mythology and the Kraken. Poppy freaked out the first time she saw the picture and now it seems her subconscious has convinced her that the same Kraken lives under her bed. “There’s no monster under your bed sweetie.”

“Yes, there is!”

“You’re just thinking about the monster from Olive’s book. It’s just a figment of your imagination.”

“I know what I’m talking about Mommy.” She insisted. “It’s real!”

“Then where is it now? It’s not here.”

“It doesn’t like the light. It only comes out when it’s dark and it only likes small beds like mine! That’s why I sleep in the guest room. It’s got a big bed. It won’t follow me in there.” Now I get why she came into the room in the middle of the night and I also get why she looked so frightened. I was worried we had scarred her for life but it turns out she was already scared of something else.

“Why didn’t you tell us about the monster? You didn’t have to go sleep in the next room. Your Dad and I could have taken care of it before.”

“I…I didn’t want Olive to find out.”

“Why not?”

“Cause she’ll call me a big baby and I’m not a big baby!”

“Of course you’re not. You’re my brave little girl, the bravest!”

She seemed happy to hear me say that to her. It was the truth. Poppy was never afraid of anything before. She was always willing to try something new and never shied away from making new friends or being in a new place. I didn’t want her to be afraid to sleep by herself at night so I managed to convince her that a hug from a parent acts as a shield that blocks attacks from octopus monsters. She totally bought it.

Just when I thought it was over she asked, “What were you and Daddy doing in the guest bedroom?”

Shit. “Well…um…what did you see exactly?”

“Daddy was standing by the desk and you were on the floor. Were you looking for something?”

“Yes!” I answered right away. The more I thought about it the more I realised from her vantage point she wouldn’t exactly see what we were really doing. No harm in telling a little white lie to protect her innocence. “I was looking for something.”

She looked in the air like she was thinking about something and then asked. “Why wasn’t Daddy wearing any pants?”

“Um…because…that’s what I was looking for. His pants! Yep, his pants!”

She didn’t ask any more questions and for that, I was so relieved. I was glad I didn’t have to have the talk with her as yet. I was barely ready for that conversation with Nori and soon I’ll have to have it with Olive so I can definitely wait a little longer before having it with Poppy.

Michael and I went to bed after that. The mood died a horrible death the moment Poppy strolled into that room. We would get another chance to have a romantic evening. We’ll just have to make sure that whatever room we choose, the door is locked tight.