One Ring:Suncoast Society

By: Tymber Dalton



“Yes.”

When the truth had exploded in Amelia’s face that Saturday she’d spent with Marcia and Derrick and their friends at the BDSM club, it had taken her nearly two weeks to finish digesting the information, everything she’d seen, her own feelings. To research.

Only then had she approached Mike again, asking if he’d reconsider going to counselling.

Another vocal, emphatic no.

She asked if he would go in for a check-up with his doctor. He was due anyway. She could go with him and ask about—

No.

Not just no, but a hell no, from Mike.

“I don’t ask to go to your lady doctor. You don’t need to go to mine. I’m not a kid.”

Yet, he was acting like one.

A spoiled one who didn’t want to do any kind of hard work to earn or keep what he had.

She’d tried initiating cuddling and sex with him and got turned down, his usual excuse being that he was too tired and not in the mood.

She doubted he was cheating on her. He never tried to hide his cell phone, there were no suspicious changes in his activities or schedule, and if he wasn’t at work, he was usually at home, either doing chores or sitting in front of the TV.

There was no more “try” inside her. The well had completely dried up.

“I’m so sorry,” Marcia said. “Do you know when you want to move in?”

“I don’t know. I wanted to make sure it was still available first. You sure you guys don’t mind?”

“We wouldn’t have made the offer if we minded,” she said. “You’re family.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with the divorce,” she said. “I’ll need to talk to Ed and find out how much it’ll be. And whatever equity we have in the house will probably be eaten up by legal fees for both of us. I can’t afford to keep the house alone.”

“It’s okay,” Marcia assured her. “This will work out the way it should. Just keep remembering that.”

“Mike was supposed to be my happy ending. I thought he was the guy I’d spend the rest of my life with.”

“People change as they age. Sometimes for the better, sometimes…not.”

“He sure as hell has.” They used to do things together, like go biking, hiking, walks. Movies. The beach.

Nothing expensive or ritzy, but…time spent together.

Now it felt like Mike could barely stand the sight of her despite what he’d said.

“Where are you right now?” Marcia asked.

“I drove down to Manasota Key. I was looking for sharks’ teeth.”

“It’s a pretty crappy beach day.”

“I know. It was perfect. I had the place to myself.”

“Ah. Do you want to come over and go to dinner and the club with us tonight?”

“I was going to ask if I could spend the night.”

“That’s fine, too.”

“Thanks. Sorry to invite myself over like this.”

“Honey, again. You’re family. We extended the offer and we meant it. Go home and pack some stuff. We’ll do a late brunch tomorrow with some of the girls.”

When was the last time she’d just gone somewhere and hung out with friends?

Wait, what happened to all her friends? Sure, she still had acquaintances, but for the most part she rarely hung out with friends anymore. She and Mike had a bunch of friends when they were in college. Then…

Like with the rest of their marriage, somehow the slow creep of decay had rotted those, too. First, it was Mike was too tired or had too many chores to do, let’s put it off. Then again…

And again.

She wasn’t fond of going out with other couples when Mike wouldn’t go.

And now…

Yes, they were still “friends” with the people. She saw them on Facebook more than she did in real life.

But…

On the other hand, when she filed for divorce he would probably be in a rush to go telling all of them how pervy and disgusting his wife was, which was why the divorce happened. Because she wasn’t happy with a hardworking husband who spent his time at home with her.

And she had no doubts that was what he’d say. He’d told her as much when she’d first mentioned BDSM several weeks ago.

That would be the ultimate irony, that the moral outrage of her leaving him finally got him off his ass to complain to people about her, instead of letting the fear of his marriage dying motivate him to save it in the first place.

Selfish bastard.

No, she didn’t want to be like that. She didn’t want to demonize him. Not when she had loved him, and had been in love with him, when they got married.

But that was fifteen years ago. Another lifetime ago, it felt like.

She wasn’t that woman anymore.

He damn sure wasn’t the same man she married.

Or, maybe he’d never been the man she’d thought he was at all.





Chapter Two




“You still want to go to the club tonight?”

Carl was armpit-deep in the engine compartment of his old Chevelle, trying to get the spark plugs replaced. “That’s my plan.”

“You know,” Don noted, “Brooke could do that.”

“And I’d have to pay her for it when I can do it myself and save the money.” Carl Mabry liked working on his old 1969 Chevelle. It wasn’t cherry by any stretch of the imagination. He had a lot of work to do to it still. But it ran, and was drivable.

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