What Did I Need To Do To Fix His Sullen Mood?

As we sped toward Clay’s house in his Porsche 911 Boxter, I reflected on the vacation. Things had not worked out the way I had hoped. I had wanted to introduce him to the people who were important to me, start bringing him into my life. I had expected my friends to welcome him, to love him simply because I loved him. That just wasn’t the case. He didn’t fit in, and honestly I wasn’t sure how much I did anymore either. The games and antics I’d once thought so fun now seemed almost childish.

It would have been wonderful if they had accepted him, integrated him into that tight knit group of friends. But it didn’t matter that they didn’t. Their disapproval didn’t change anything. They didn’t get to see what I saw in him: his sincerity, his kindness, his selflessness. True, Clay had been somewhat reticent, but they had made little effort to make him feel included.

I hoped in time they would be less critical, once they realized how much he meant to me. Until then, I figured I’d just spend time with them when he was busy doing other things. Somehow it would work itself out.

Looking at him I could see the strain these past few days had caused. His jaw was set firmly, his expression almost angry. I couldn’t blame him. They had treated him unfairly and he had a right to be upset.

I reached across the center console to squeeze his right arm. When he returned my conciliatory smile with a grimace I realized the tension between us might be more significant than I’d imagined. Nervously I wondered if he blamed me for the problems over the weekend.

Should I have defended him more? I wasn’t sure. They were my friends and although I wasn’t particularly happy with their behavior the past couple of days, they were good people, meaningful to me. They had helped me through all of life’s ups and downs, had listened to my woes, encouraged me through the college years and supported me both emotionally and financially when I was struggling on my own.

I knew we should talk about what happened. I just wasn’t in the mood to defend them or to rehash why they meant so much to me. Pushing aside my frustration I resolved to cheer him up. The vacation was in the past. It was time to move forward.

“I can’t wait to get home,” I began, knowing that Clay would be pleased with my use of the word home. He wanted me to think of his extravagant house as my home.

As I’d hoped, the brief smile he returned was a bit more sincere, but his attention remained focus on the road, his face still tense. There had to be more I could do to relieve the strain between us. I watched the trees on the side of the highway fly by as I tried to think.

An idea came to me, and glancing surreptitiously at him I wondered if I dared. Part of my fear was in getting caught, a risk that also added some excitement to the plan that was forming. But I also worried that he was too irritable to go along with it.

Wanting to test how he might respond, I shifted in my seat so that I was turned toward him. I attempted a seductive expression, then ran the fingers of my right hand the length of his thigh. When he didn’t even acknowledge my touch I decided I had to be more forthright in my approach.

He looked at me questioningly as I unlatched my seatbelt and rested on my knee on the seat. Already this was an improvement over his sulking. Placing my left elbow on the armrest to keep me from falling, I leaned over to kiss his neck, my right hand resuming it’s caress of his thigh. His response this time was almost immediate. His breath caught at the surprise and he squirmed in his seat when my hand explored higher.

His eyes remained on the road, but I now had his attention. I allowed my warm breath to tickle his ear as I told him there was a scenic view parking area coming up that I wanted to see. Briefly he turned his head to meet my gaze, understanding of the suggestion clear in the lustful expression that had replaced the angry one.

Pleased with my victory, I settled back into my seat, both anxious and aroused by what was to come.

This post is in response to the daily writing prompt Integrated and is part of something longer I am working on.

This post is a part of the story about the ex and comes after the vacation is complete. There is a gap between yesterday’s post, Why Were We Suddenly Alone in the Woods and this one that has yet to be completed.

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