Language and Content Advisory: MATURE MATERIAL. Not for the under – 18 crowd.
“God I’ve missed you,” he said, caressing her left cheek. “I know it’s only been a few weeks, but it feels like forever.”
“What if your wife finds out?” Susie asked.
“She finds out. I’m tired of living a lie.”
“She’s the mother of your children. She’s your wife. I’m just your — I don’t even know what. I’m not really your mistress, because you don’t keep me. I’m that woman that you go to for sex because your wife either doesn’t put out or doesn’t do it very well.”
“You’re so much more than that. I think I may be in love with you.”
“That’s just silly. We’re both married, to other people. You to a woman who is cold-blooded, and me to a man who is frequently away on business.”
“You’ve never really talked about your husband much. Do you love him?”
“Yes. That’s not the issue, don’t change the subject.”
“How is that not the issue? I’m declaring my love for you, and you bring him up. If you love him, why are you fucking me?”
Susie looked down, tucking a stray curl behind her ear. Of course she couldn’t say the truth, the words that popped into her head: Because he asked me to fuck you.
Jake was a strange man. They had been married for three years, and she still knew so little about him. He seemed to make a lot of money that had something to do with international trade, but his work was always done away from home. For all she knew, he could be the head of a drug cartel.
Of course she was stupid not to ask. But it was rather like that story about the woman who was married to Bluebeard: the wife who went snooping could end up losing her head.
So, for the time being, she did what she was asked, and she took that ever-so-generous allowance, and she saved half of it each month and put it into that secret account. Jake didn’t know the difference – she bought enough stuff that he thought she spent every penny. He found it charming, or at least pretended to.
Most of the time, Jake left her alone to do her own thing. But every now and then, he would ask her to do something for him. Sometimes it was something little, like organize a party, or chit chat with someone’s wife.
Meeting up with Rodger/Rob had been one of her more intriguing assignments. He had been very clear on what she was to do, though he had never explained why.
Go to the Dunkin Donuts on Juniper Street around 5:30 every afternoon until the guy in the photograph showed up. When he did, she was to bump into him and make it look like an accident. Talk to him, get to know him, and if he made any advances, she was to be nice to him.
She’d asked, “Just how nice?”
The answer had surprised her.
Rodger didn’t know that Jake knew. Susie told Jake every detail. Every detail. For some reason, rather than upsetting Jake, it almost seemed to turn him on.
“I like it, that’s why,” Susie answered at last, looking up again. “Because I’m not a good person. Because I find you attractive. Because it feels good, on some primal level.”
“So you’re telling me it’s just physical, that you have absolutely no feelings for me?”
“I’m telling you exactly that.”
“You’re not a very good liar,” he said, smiling.
Jake turned the photograph over in his hand. Soon, he thought. He had waited years for revenge.
Spider Man. It had always been his favorite comic book hero. He laughed at how the name applied to him. Jake the spider-man. The web-spinner. Spinning threads around people in circles, threads that they didn’t see.
He turned the photo back up. He had loved her once. Love was a sign of weakness. The photo reminded him – for all he spun webs, someone could still come along and step on him. No. He had to bring them in for the kill, and soon.