Moments

Sometimes she thinks such a superficial, temporary fix isn't even close to what they need. Other nights, as she curls up against his naked body, satisfied and exhausted, she wonders why she bothers pretending it isn't.

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She wants him to be happy. Truly. But she can't help relishing that tiny recognizable taste of satisfaction as Lindsey recoils slightly from his wife's touch. His eyes meet hers and Stevie smiles softly.

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His number is dialed and she hears his concerned, sleepy voice before she even has time to fully take in the news she's just heard. If she'd given her actions any thought at all, she probably would've done the same thing. It's an automatic reaction, calling Lindsey. It shouldn't be.

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He wanders around the living room, curious and touching everything. "It's a bit big, isn't it?" he asks. "I mean, just for you." She wants to tie him the nearest chair and force him to listen to her dreams and hopes. Maybe one day she won't be the only one here.

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The curtains are drawn and the flickering candles she bought earlier today are the only source of light in the hotel room. He's sitting on the edge of the bed, looking contemplative, and she wonders if that's regret or remorse she can see in his eyes. She hopes not.

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When his eldest daughter tugs on her hand, begs her to follow, she does. Lindsey gives her an odd, almost-hungry look when they return and pose dramatically, both wearing ridiculous scarves and high heels that make even her feel unbalanced. "Miss the boots, Steph?" he asks her, laughing.

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He cooks dinner one night and Kristen seems taken aback. Stevie wonders if he did it for her and pretends to his face that it actually tastes good. Later that night, as he drives her home, he grins and tells her he knows it was awful. "You taste better," she says before inviting him to stay.

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One day, he rings her out of the blue, says he just wants to talk. It turns out he has nothing to say and, in fact, just wanted to hear her voice. She tells him about Karen's hatred of the new laptop and Sulamith's latest attempts to hide in the jacket Lindsey keeps in her closet. He sighs melodramatically, regretfully when she has to hang up.

-

His arms are tight around her and she thinks maybe she should feel smothered. Instead, she feels strangely liberated. His lips are against her bare neck as they sway and she should probably end this now. Instead, she lightly scratches his back, urges him on. His touch is all kinds of heaven and hell.

-

Stella is frowning at the computer, making little noises of frustration and she watches as Lindsey goes over to help her. He's patient and kind and helpful and everything Stevie knew he would be, could be, when he had kids. She'd just never pictured him having them with anyone but her.

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Mumbling into the pillow, she refuses to admit to herself that it's morning already, that it's over. The sunlight streaming into their hotel suite tells her otherwise, though, and she turns, wrapping her arms around her lover. He drops sweet little kisses all over her face, her breasts, her stomach, and she decides it won't hurt if they stay here a little longer.

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