Yes, Justin

By: Michele Zurlo

SAFE WORD: OASIS


Chapter One


Justin rose early, as he always did, and watched the woman sleeping next to him. Trish, his wife, didn’t stir even though shafts of soft light penetrated the cracks in the curtains. He wanted to lift her nightgown, pin her hands over her head, and wake her up by thrusting deep into her sleep-soft body.

Her eyes would be bleary and dark in this half light. She would stare at him in wonder for a second, and then she would surrender to his will and his passion. It would be like it used to be when they were first married and they couldn’t get enough of each other.

Over the past two months, he’d frequently entertained this fantasy, and the blame lay solely with her. Perhaps the idea of holding her down wasn’t new, but the idea that he could wake her up and take what he wanted hadn’t crossed his mind in more years than he could remember. Given the number of times she’d pushed away his questing hands, it just didn’t seem consensual anymore.

That was before he saw her questionnaire.

In it she had clearly stated that she didn’t want him to ask for sex. She wanted him to remove the choice. Though why she would turn him down when she wanted it too presented a paradox he was only just beginning to understand.

Rolling from bed, he took his morning wood into the shower and entertained himself with the fantasy of fucking his captivating wife of fifteen years. This would be the last morning he let her sleep undisturbed. She wanted him to let loose his dominant nature. He would do it for both of them.

A half hour later, dressed in comfortable jeans and a cotton shirt, he headed to the kitchen to make breakfast. He broke out eggs, milk, cheese, and bread. Mikayla, their oldest, loved the way he made cheesy scrambled eggs. She would whisper that she liked them better than Trish’s, but he knew the truth. Trish hated eggs and refused to make them.

Bacon sizzled, and the toaster let out a ding. A small tug on his shirt caught his attention. “Where’s Mommy?”

He ignored the twinge of guilt in his gut. Of course she wanted Trish first thing. Trish got them up each day, snuggled them until they were awake, bundled them off to day care, and then picked them up after a full day teaching music to six hundred elementary students. She made dinner whether or not he was there to dine with them. And when he worked really late, she tucked them into bed at night. She’d tucked them in last night while he had been at his last Oasis class.

Of course, she thought he had been working late.

“Mommy’s sleeping. She has a big day ahead of her, so we’ll let her sleep and surprise her with breakfast.” He crouched down and held his arms open for a hug.

Mikayla blinked at him, and then her sleepy brown eyes opened a little more. She smiled and snuggled into his shoulder. He lifted her and stirred the eggs.

“I made your favorite, baby.”

“Daddy, I’m not a baby. I’m going to kindergarten next year.”

He grinned at her indignant tone, which conflicted with the way her entire body relaxed into his hold. “You’ll always be my baby, Kay-Kay.”

“Hannah’s the baby.”

Every inch her mother’s daughter, Mikayla wasn’t going to cede the point.

“Yep.” No sense in arguing. She’d realize sooner or later he’d never change his mind.

Footsteps sounded in the hall. His family was waking up. Trish appeared, still clad in her rumpled nightgown. Hannah hung from her neck like a baby koala.

He smiled, but he wondered if it reached his eyes. “Good morning, ladies.”

Trish frowned. “I thought you had a trip today.”

She was pissed at him. Though she didn’t say anything about all the late hours and business trips, they grated on her nerves and wore down the foundation of their marriage. He’d learned a few things from reading her questionnaire, both things she’d disclosed and things he inferred. She had all but come out and said she felt like a single mother, not the sexy, desirable women who occupied his fantasies in the shower every morning.

Negotiation. The introductory BDSM class Oasis had required him to take for the past six weeks—part of the fantasy-fulfillment process—had emphasized negotiation as the solution for every problem. Want a quickie in the morning? Negotiate terms for when that would be acceptable. Want her to not wear underwear to bed? Negotiate terms for when that would happen. Want her to stop pretending like nothing was wrong with their relationship? Negotiate terms for conversation.

They never talked about anything. Even when he’d told her he had a conference to attend this weekend, she hadn’t shown much of a reaction. She hadn’t even pressed her lips together in an attempt to hide annoyance.

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