The Undertow Ch. 01
By Trixie Adara
Antonio slammed the door of his Mustang and lumbered up the stone pathway in front of his house. He groaned as he saw the leaves crowding his lawn. He hated raking leaves.
As he climbed the steps of his porch, he almost didn't see the sign taped to the front door, but it's bright pink paper and maroon lettering caught his eye. It wasn't Valentine's Day. Not for months.
It read: "Rule 1: Greet your wife with a kiss whenever you or she comes home."
Was this a joke? Antonio looked around behind him, scanning the neighborhood. Each house was neat and clean. The yards were mowed. The cars were either minivans or sportscars. Bill, his asshole neighbor, was already raking the leaves as they fell, but there was no one watching him. No one was looking to see how he'd react.
Antonio shrugged and opened the door. Maybe Victoria knew what was going on. He stepped into the warm house and was greeted by the pleasant sounds of violins. He didn't recognize the music, but he could guess Vivaldi. Victoria was wild about him, and she tended to put on music while she cooked.
It didn't smell like anything was cooking yet, and Antonio felt a sting of disappointment. Victoria was an incredible cook. They tend to only eat out when they were short on time or it was a special occasion. She was better than most of the restaurants in the city.
"Hey babe," he said as he closed the door behind him. "What's for dinner?"
No answer came. He turned and put down his briefcase, hung up his coat, and emptied his pockets. He rounded the corner, through the dining room, and peeked into the kitchen, but didn't see his wife.
"In here," came her voice from the den.
Antonio followed her voice and found her sitting in one of the armchairs, curled up, a book in one hand, and a glass of red wine in the other. Her blonde hair was up in a braid, and her thick rimmed glasses framed her soft face and clear blue eyes. Antonio never tired of looking at her. He smiled as he walked in and sat down next to her.
"Hey," he sat and patted her leg.
"Hey," she said without lifting her eyes from the book.
"Whatcha doing?" he asked.
She slowly lifted her eyes, disapproving of his question. "Does it need explaining?" she asked. "Book," she said and raised the book. "Glasses. Wine. Music. Pretty self-explanatory."
Antonio rolled his eyes. "It's a way to start a conversation."
"Try another way." She wasn't upset with Antonio, or even frustrated. It was more like she was bored, indifferent to him. He was interrupting her from something she cared more about.
"What are you reading?" he asked.
Without taking her eyes off the page, she raised the book and showed him the spine, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.
"Any good?" he asked.
"Yes," she sighed and put down the book, looking at her husband. "Though hard to multitask with." She smiled. "Hello, dear."
Victoria held his gaze as though waiting for something, but then frowned to herself.
"Something wrong?" he asked.
"Not really. We'll talk about it later."
"Is it about the rule?"
"Which one?" asked Victoria.
"The one on the front door. What's with that?"
"You don't want to kiss your wife when you come home?"
"What are we, the Cleavers?" asked Antonio.
"It's a polite way to say hello."
"I find, 'hello, how are you?' to work just fine?"
"Or 'what are you doing?'" Victoria went back to her book.
Antonio stood up and went back to the kitchen. He was tired of this dance. Every disagreement was an invitation for an argument. Each argument went back to THE argument. He couldn't change the past, and he didn't need to listen to Victoria shout about it all over again. It was best to let sleeping dogs lie.
Antonio stood in the kitchen, looking around. There was nothing on the stove or on the table. He went to the fridge and looked in there for any sign of dinner. It was getting late. Most nights, Victoria put the food on the plate as he walked in. There was nothing. No leftovers. Nothing soaking or marinating.
"Are we ordering out?" shouted Antonio.
"No," said Victoria. "Food is on the counter."
Antonio turned around and saw a bunch of filled grocery bags on the counter. Maybe she got takeout. He went to the bags and checked them. Onions, garlic, ground beef, peppers, spices, and spaghetti.
"You're making spaghetti?" he asked. He loved spaghetti.
"Check the recipe card," said Victoria.
On the counter was a notecard with the recipe for meat sauce, and beside it was another pink sign saying, "Rule 2: Make dinner for your wife each night when you come home."
"What the hell is this?" he asked.
"You can read, right? At this point, I'm questioning your powers of observation." Victoria appeared in the kitchen, her glass of wine still in her hands.
"I'm making dinner?"
"Just sound out the words one letter at a time." She smiled, teasing him.
Antonio sighed. She wasn't kidding. "What is this?"
"Food. When prepared properly it will become a meal. Follow the recipe carefully."
"Are you playing some game? I mean ... these rules. What are you getting at?"
"New rules." There was no anger in her voice. She wasn't backing down, but it was more like she was teasing him, flirting with him.
"Did you find them in some self-help book?"
"Not self-help," said Victoria. She went into the pantry and grabbed her apron that hung up on the other side of the door. It was bright pink with hearts embroidered over the pockets. "You help," she said and tossed the apron to Antonio.
"I'm not wearing this."
"You'll get sauce all over your suit, and unless you want to start cleaning and pressing those in addition to cooking meals, you better wear the damn apron." She pursed her lips and let them tilt into a smirk.
"I'll help you," she said, walking towards him. "These things can be tricky." She took the apron out of his hands, rose on her tiptoes, and looped the apron over his head. Antonio stood there, dumbfounded, but he didn't protest. He wasn't sure what was happening, but he knew he didn't want to fight. That would end up with another rant about his affair with Trina. It felt like every fight had the threat of divorce behind it these days.
Besides, he was starving.
Victoria stepped behind him and tied the back straps of the apron. "There," she said and patted it as she crossed in front of him. "Much better."
She went to the other side of the counter and sat on one of their bar stools. She crossed her legs and sat with one arm across her stomach, the other holding her raised wine glass. She was wearing tight black skinny jeans and a teal tunic that tied in a bow just beneath her breasts.
She was ravishing. She was thick, with gorgeous and plump hips, just like Antonio liked his women. That's something she'd never understand. He didn't like Trina because she a twig. She was a yoga instructor, of course she was a twig. He liked her because she was wild and exciting. Victoria was always his ideal woman and ideal body type.
"Well?" asked Victoria as she arched one eyebrow. "Dinner won't cook itself."
Something in Antonio melted. That look, that one arched eyebrow, that raised glass of red wine, those crossed legs, something about it made ... shivers. She was perched, part amused and part annoyed, watching him squirm for her entertainment.
Part of Antonio was annoyed. He was frustrated. He was hungry. She was being a bitch. She was out of line. He knew that he should yell at her. He could storm out and pick up food for himself. He could take off the damn apron. He didn't need this. If this was a trap, there was no reason for him to walk right into it.
But the rest of Antonio felt something new. Heat spread over his body. His vision became blurred at the edges. He should be mad, but he wasn't. He was turned on. He felt himself go hard and hoped Victoria couldn't see the tent in his pants through the apron.
Victoria watched him, but she didn't move. She sat, perched high up on her stool, and watched to see what he would do. For her, it was amusing. It was almost funny. As he worked, occasionally a smile would widen on her face, but whenever he asked why she was smiling, she wouldn't answer.
"How long do I let the noodles boil?" he asked.
"Figure it out," she said and smirked.
"Right, but I don't want them to be raw or overcooked."
"Then take them out when you think they're ready."
"And it doesn't say what temperature to set the sauce to. How high?"
"It says medium and such on there," said Victoria and took another sip.
"Right, but then it says simmer. What temperature do I put it on to simmer?"
"You'll figure it out." Her red lipstick stained the rim of the glass as she pulled it away. She smirked again.
It went on like that. No straight answers. No real help. It was his problem, she insisted. He needed to figure it out. She didn't care if he ruined the meal. She didn't mind if it was under or over cooked. He had to get it right, but it made no difference to her.
Each time, Antonio would feel the frustration build up in him, but it couldn't last. She would smirk, or laugh at his mistakes or confusion, and he would melt all over. He didn't know what was happening, but she found him so ... pathetic. Yes, that was the word.
As he cooked, he fluctuated between three emotions: frustration, shame, and arousal. Trying to cook the meal without knowing what he was doing, without her help, frustrated him. He felt stupid that he couldn't even make spaghetti by himself. The frustration, the amused look in her eye, the way she talked to him, all of it led to the arousal, and the arousal at that led to shame.
"Set the table when you're done," said Victoria as the meal was close to being ready. "I'll be getting changed." She turned and went upstairs without waiting for a response.
Antonio cleared the table and set it for dinner. He set out forks and a spoon, plates, and napkins. He took off his apron and sat down at his seat. He wanted to start eating, he was still starving, but he didn't want to eat without her. It wasn't a rule or anything, but it didn't feel right for him to cook this meal for both of them and then to eat it alone.
She arrived twenty minutes later in a black dress that cut off mid-calf. It hugged her curves and had a deep, deep cut in the top for her cleavage.
Antonio's mouth went dry.
"What's the occasion?" he asked as she walked to the counter and poured herself a glass of wine.
"I appreciate you making dinner. That's the occasion," she said.
"I should make dinner more," he muttered.
Victoria cleared her throat. "You'll be making dinner each night," she said with a wink. "Now, let's see how you did."
She sat still, waiting. Antonio tried to figure out what she was waiting for, and it hit him suddenly. He was supposed to serve her food. He scrambled up and scooped the noodles and ladled sauce over them.
"I'm afraid it might be a little cold," he said. "I didn't know you would take so long getting ready."
"Is that an excuse?" Her voice became firm. She wasn't amused.
"It's a reason. It was ready, and then you had to go get ready for twenty minutes."
"You don't appreciate my appearance?"
"I do," sighed Antonio, rolling his eyes. "But you can't be late for dinner and complain when the food is cold. It was fine twenty minutes ago when you left."
"Oh really?" asked Victoria. She got up from the table, went to the bowl of spaghetti, and grabbed a noodle. She raised it up in front of him, bent it between her thumb and finger, and it snapped.
"That's a little to 'al dente' for my tastes," she said.
Antonio's anger broke. "Shit," he hissed. "I'm sorry. I told you, I didn't know how long to cook it for. I checked. I thought it was fine."
"I'll go out to eat. You can have this for yourself. I know you're starving." The anger was gone from her voice. She wasn't amused either. She was disconnected. Antonio had failed, and now she needed dinner.
Antonio was embarrassed, ashamed, and that led back to arousal. He watched as Victoria slipped on one of her nicer pairs of heels, grabbed her purse, and slunk out the front door. While she walked, he watched her hips sway. He was hard. She was mad at him, he fucked up, and he was still hard.
"Shit," he muttered when the door closed.
The spaghetti was terrible. It was crunchy, the sauce was watery, and not enough salt in the world could make it delicious. Antonio ate about half of it, then threw it away. He grabbed a bag of chips from the pantry and headed upstairs to his office.
His erection died, but the subtle throb of blue balls was creeping in. He knew if he didn't cum soon, he'd be in considerable pain. There was a dull aching in his abdomen, and no matter what he did around the house, he couldn't get comfortable. He needed to take care of himself as soon as possible.
Antonio sat down at his desk and turned on his computer. While he waited for it boot up, he scarfed down the chips he grabbed. It was messy, but he didn't care. He was still starving, and knowing that Victoria would vacuum in here later, cleaning up his mess, felt like a small revenge.
He couldn't get that look out of his mind. Her sitting, perched, one hand holding a glass of red wine in the air, her eyebrow cocked, her lips pursed in an amused smirk. It said, 'how cute,' and that made his cock throb. It said that she liked him, but she wasn't impressed. She was partly embarrassed for him but still found him attractive. She found him adorable.
His cock twitched again. Yes. That was the word: pathetic. In his life, the word had never done anything for him, and now it played in his mind over and over. He could hear it in her voice, "you're so pathetic." He could hear her voice tilt up, like she was talking to a small child, "you're so pathetic, aren't you?" Like she was talking to a dog. She watched him struggle to make basic fucking spaghetti and meat sauce and it was pathetic. It really was.
Antonio opened the browser and searched the term: "pathetic porn."
He found a bunch of homemade videos. They were all people trying to make quality porn but doing a terrible job. It was pathetic porn, aka bad porn. Not what he was looking for.
One of the links was to something labelled femdom. He searched, "femdom," and his breath caught. There, in all the images, were pictures of women with the same look Victoria had on her face tonight. There were all amused with, almost embarrassed by, the men they were with. These women wore beautiful lingerie. Some leather, some latex, some lace. There were corsets and stockings and boots and heels. There were whips and floggers and restraints and ropes.
Antonio's mind slowed down. It was barely working. He was caught in the images. He'd never thought of working with a dominatrix before. The thought never crossed his mind to have a woman insult him, to beat him, to step on him. But they all had that face, that precious look of condescension. He wanted that. A woman who was confident. A woman who was in control. A woman who knew she was better than you.
His cock was hard, and his body ached to cum. He looked at the clock, he'd been watching videos for an hour already. His hand was stroking the head of his cock through his pants absentmindedly. His whole body had gone into some form of auto-pilot. Absolutely none of it was thinking. It was only interested in finding another video, another image. None of them satisfied him. They didn't quite have that look that Victoria gave tonight perfectly. Most of these women looked angry or detached. Victoria had a spark of delight in her eye. He wanted that. He needed that look, and he kept clicking until he found it.
"Antonio?" he heard, but he was watching a video where a woman was forcing a man to lick his cum off the floor. She'd already made him cum. She said it was a ruined orgasm, and his face was one of pain when his cum dribbled out of his cock like it was leaking. Then, she made him lick it up, and while he did, her face was close. It was almost the same face as Victoria but not quite. It was too angry.
"What the hell are you doing?" snapped Victoria. The sound of her voice made Antonio's cock twitch. He looked up and saw Victoria in her sleek black dress, the soft fabric hugging each of her curves, showing off her deep cleavage, her hands on her hips, her face furious.
"What?" he asked. He didn't know what to say. He turned and saw what was playing on the video. The woman had her heel on the man's back while he licked. He moved to exit out of the window, but Victoria's hand shot out and stopped him.
"What are you watching?" she asked. Her voice had softened.
"Umm ... nothing. Just porn."
"Just porn?" She stood up straight, relaxing a bit. She pursed her lips again, tilting them to one side in a wry smile. That was it. That was the look he needed. His cock throbbed.
"Ummm ... yeah?" His mind was blank. He loved that look, but he didn't know what to say. He didn't know if he was in trouble or not. All he knew was that he was pathetic.
"Is this how you want to feel?" she asked, pointing to the man on the screen.
"I ... uh ... I don't know," admitted Antonio.
Victoria sighed and looked around the room. Antonio held his breath, watching her decide what she was going to do with him. She bit her bottom lip, and then the uncertainty fled from her face.
"Your cock is mine and mine alone," she said. Her voice was confident, not angry. It was firm, and in it was a promise as well as a threat. Antonio melted.
"Okay," he whispered.
"Okay," he said louder.
"Good." Victoria stalked towards him. She bent over, grabbed the mouse, and exited out of the browser. She turned and caught Antonio staring at her breasts. She smiled again. His cock throbbed.
Victoria bent down and grabbed his cock through his pants. "If you want to cum," she said and gave it a small stroke, "just ask."
"Please," he whispered.
Victoria leaned in past him and whispered in his ear, "Please what?"
"Please can I cum?"
"Come with me."
Victoria kept her hand on Antonio's cock as she stood up. She kept pulling on it, and Antonio stood to follow her. She led him out of the office with her hand on his cock the whole time, leading him by it to their bedroom.
She let go as she entered their room and turned on the light. Antonio stood outside the door, hesitating to go in. He hadn't been in there since the affair. He slept on the couch now and had been for almost a month.
"Do I have permission?" he asked.
Victoria turned around, kicked off her heels, and smiled. She shrugged her shoulders, and her dress effortlessly fell off. She had no bra on, and she was wearing black lace panties. It was Antonio's favorite pair she owned.
"Are you going to follow my rules?" she asked.
"Yes," he said and nodded.
"All of them?" she asked.
"Yes. Please. Of course. I'll do anything. Yes."
Victoria giggled. "It didn't take much to break you." She was amused.
"It's pathetic," said Antonio, hoping to hear it echoed from her.
"Yes," she said. She stepped towards him, her hips swaying. "You are pathetic."
Antonio almost came in that moment. He knew then that no matter what rule she came up with, no matter what stipulation she would create, that he wanted this. He wanted her, this version of his wife, as much as possible. He would do anything to keep this woman around.
She stepped in front of him and reached out, stroking his cock through his pants again. "What do you want to feel, pet?" she asked.
"Pathetic," he whispered. It scared him to admit it, but he knew it was true. He had spent the past few years almost bored and stressed at the same time. Life wasn't a challenge, it wasn't an adventure, but it was still a burden. It was the same thing every day: work, home, sleep. He had to be competent and consistent, and he couldn't take it anymore. That's what led him to Trina, it led him to stray, but there was another path. There was a way he didn't have to be competent or consistent anymore. He could be pathetic.