Page 12 of The Husband Sitter

I help Mrs. Blue clean the dishes and watch as she slow dances with Mr. Blue around the kitchen table, marrying the soap suds on their hands. There was happiness in this house yesterday, but today there is…abandon. They’ve done something risky bringing a third person into their sexual life, and I’m relieved to bear witness to it paying off.

I’m extremely attracted to Mr. Blue—in a different way than I’m attracted to Mr. Black. One man is warm and steady while the other is volatile as the ocean. But I love taking them into my body. I love that it is having a positive effect on their marriages and leaving them freer to express themselves. For example, Mr. Blue’s confidence could not be more rock solid as he dips his wife and lays a smack on her butt, walking toward me with a chuckle.

My fingers curl into my palm with the need to touch his big chest, but I suppress it and remain satisfied. I know where I want to stand with these families who have brought me into their homes and it revolves around trust. I will never overstep.

Mr. Blue lays a kiss on my forehead, his expression turning serious. “You’re going to Mr. and Mrs. Red’s house this afternoon.”

“Yes.” I smile. “I’m…curious about them. I know almost nothing about them.”

“You’ll be safe, Astrid. You can trust us on that,” Mrs. Blue says, trading a glance with her husband, and I sense instability in their energy. “But Mr. Red…he’s a complicated man. Just remember you don’t have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable.”

I still have those words ringing in my ears an hour later when the limousine drops me off in front of the Red residence. It is by far the largest, most ornate home of all. Two Rolls Royces sit parked in the multi-car garage, a golf course spreads out on either side and around back. There is a chilly air to the home that the other two didn’t have. My stomach churns along with the pebbles beneath my feet as I approach the front door, suitcase in hand.

The chimes go off inside when I ring the bell and a maid answers, taking my measure with a sweep of her cool eyes. “This way, if you please. Mrs. Red is expecting you in the salon.”

I swallow hard and follow the stoic woman through a room decorated in multiple shades of grey. There isn’t a single sound in the house, apart from the muffled ticking of a clock. Moments later, when I enter the salon, Mrs. Red rises from a chaise lounge, tucking blonde hair behind her ear. “Astrid.” She clears the rust from her voice. “You’re even more beautiful than I remember.”

“Thank you,” I reply, feeling self-conscious. Especially when the maid takes my luggage and I have no idea what to do with my hands. “You have a lovely home.”

Mrs. Red nods. “Won’t you sit down? We have a lot to discuss.” I cross the expensive rug and take a seat across from Mrs. Red on a velvet settee. “Well, how has the arrangement been treating you so far?”

“Very well,” I say, crossing my ankles to match her. “Mrs. Red, I hope I’m not being too forward. But…is there a reason you’re so nervous?”

Her smile remains frozen in place. “How can you tell?”

“It’s something I can feel. I felt it the first time we met, too.”

Apart from a crease between her arched brows, she shows no reaction to that. “Leave us, please,” she directs at the maid, before returning her attention to me. “I’m afraid our situation is little different than the others. It’s less about wanting to spice up a marriage or satisfy a man in his prime…and more about catering to a…taste. Yes, I suppose you could call it a taste.”

“Okay,” I say, smiling to encourage her. “Mr. Red is the one with the…taste?”

“Yes,” she heaves on a breath, her fingers beginning to fidget.

It’s too much for me to bear—her nerves and my increasing ones. I go down on my knees and walk toward Mrs. Red. Ignoring her increased alarm, I pull some calm from down deep inside me and lay a hand on her forearm, letting it drift out of me and into her. Her eyes soften almost immediately, the rise and fall of her chest slowing to a regular pace. “Oh my. You’re better than a Xanax.”

I chuckle even though I have no idea what that is. “I was raised not to be judgmental, Mrs. Red. You can tell me anything you want.”

Mrs. Red rolls her lips inward and sighs. “A few weeks ago, I went into Mr. Red’s home office—” With an eye roll, she breaks off. “I’m getting ahead of myself. Mr. Red is a United States congressman, Astrid. He’s run uncontested for several terms, and well, he’s a very prominent politician.” She waves at the fireplace across the room where I see framed commendations and photos, although I’m too far away to notice the finer details. “You must be squeaky clean to remain in such a prestigious office for so long and…we are. He is. It’s just that I went into his office and found a website open on his computer…”