They both had their reasons for keeping their ridiculous arrangement in place
The day they always met and had for the past twenty-one years.
Brielle curled her toes in the sand, but not because of joy at being on this beautiful beach.
No, it was all tension.
Fear of going. Fear of not going.
She checked the time on her wristwatch, then abruptly stood up, grabbed her bag and sandals and left the beach. She crossed the street, entered the hotel, picked up the key from reception and rode the elevator up to the room.
Always room 2505.
Brielle entered the room, put the overnight bag on the dresser, removed her rings — he hated her being married — and opened the connecting door. Next, she took a shower, put on a little black dress, stockings and high heels, and walked down to the restaurant.
George found her there. Wrapped her in his beefy arms and smacked a wet kiss on her cheek.
“So good to see you, my lovely Brielle.”
The ease of the conversation was all his doing, as Brielle barely said a word. She only smiled and nodded when appropriate, or let out the occasional ‘yes’ or ‘no’. This was the easy part of the evening.
After dinner, he retreated to room 2506, leaving her downstairs to finish her drink, but also for him to shower and take his insulin shot. Soon she was back in room 2505.
“Come sit with me,” George called, starting the re-enactment of that very first night they shared adjoining rooms.
Brielle sat down in the recliner. He watched her from the bed, looked her up and down.
“You are so beautiful. I’ve been in love with you from the moment I saw you.”
“George, please don’t. I don’t feel the same.”
The panic her eighteen-year-old self had felt all those years ago now made her heart race again.
“Please, Brielle, just let me be with you once. You don’t have to do anything. Just let me lick you. Taste you. Come on, as a birthday present for me.”
Brielle was quiet.
Her mind traveled back to that first time. She had been young and naïve when she came here for that conference, thinking she would make a success of her online business. He — George — had paid for her trip.
Okay, the pheromone business wasn’t strictly hers.
It had been his idea, and he took her on as a partner. She created the website, and he was in charge of sales.
On that last night of their five-day-stay that he had spoken those words. She told him she didn’t want it. That she wasn’t in love with him. That she couldn’t be intimate with him.
Then it turned ugly.
George went deadly quiet. The tender look of love in his eyes changed to hard rage. He reminded her he had paid for her trip. That all the money for their business came from him. That she was drawing a salary from the business. His money. That she owed him something.
He had made her feel so guilty that she had gotten up from the recliner, undressed and laid down on the bed, her legs spread, allowing him to lick her, feeling deeply ashamed when she climaxed.
She cried on the plane all the way home. Cried for days, feeling violated. Humiliated. Ashamed.
A year later, she returned.
And every year after that.
She had never worked a day in her life. Even though their pheromone business didn’t exist anymore, he still paid her a royal ‘salary’. She didn’t need it anymore, not with being married to a banker for the past ten years.
But George insisted.
Insisted to pay for her luxuries.
And insisted on meeting on the summer solstice.
She kept on coming out of obligation.
“I can’t, George.”
She deviated from the set conversation of the past years, and so did George.
“You know you have to, Brielle. The money… your husband not knowing…”
For a few seconds, Brielle considered getting up, grabbing her stuff and leaving the room.
“Brielle, honey. Come on, it’s my birthday.”
Only then it clicked in her mind.
She stood up, undressed and took her position on the bed. Even after all their meetings, he had never expected more of her than that very first time. This one time per year was a small price to pay for her luxurious life.
And, the last time will be fast approaching, seeing that today was his eightieth birthday!
Note: This story first appeared on Medium and I wrote it for the ‘solstice’ prompt on the Redemption magazine. You can read this story and many others on Medium for less than $5 per month if you pay for a full year. Using my link supports me and other writers you read.
Wicked Wednesday stops at the end of the year. Currently, there’s a challenge to complete 25 prompts by 31 December. Following the clever example of others, here you see the prompts I have already completed. My goal is to write for every one of the Wicked Wednesday Bingo Prompts. Join in!
This story answers to the prompt: summer solstice