In the kitchen, his wet jacket drying on a chair, Rod puttered around for something to make for supper. It was his turn again. He decided on what he was good at, salad with hard boiled eggs, cheese, and a side of toast.
As he was getting out the lettuce he heard the splashing and dripping of water. Tami was getting out of her bubble bath. She used to try to invite him in with her but the tub wasn’t really big enough and, besides, she liked the water really hot, which he found suffocating.
“Aiee! Damn!” she suddenly shouted.
When he got there he saw his dripping nude wife looking at a big white towel on the floor.
“That thing is like fire!” she said. She reached down for it but drew her hand away at the touch.
Rod picked it up. It felt like the same old towel as always. The two searched for an explanation. “Maybe you’re allergic to the detergent. Did you buy a different brand? I know I haven’t.”
He went to the linen closet. Unfortunately their other towels (all four of them) were in the dirty clothes hamper, leaving just some scratchy wash cloths. He threw three to Tami. In spite of his concern, Rod always found it sexy seeing her dry herself off.
He put the white towel in the hamper, intending on doing the wash later, then went back to the kitchen. Now a voice from the living room. “Rod.”
He found her there sitting cross-legged on the upholstered couch, leaning against a pillow.
“I don’t feel so good. I feel... I don’t know, like I’m going to throw up.”
Now he was really concerned. In all the time he knew her Tami had not once gotten sick. In Pilgrim Hall she was famous for it. They both figured it was because the constant exposure to the elements had toughened her. It was something she cited with pride during her embrace of “the theory of nudism” last year.
He didn’t know what to do but she seemed so confused as to be helpless. He pulled her up by the hand and led her to the kitchen. Once on the cold tile floor she sighed. Then she sat down on it, breathing deeply. She opened her eyes and seemed to have recovered. Then she drew a glass of water.
“Rod,” she said, “let’s get some air.”
Tami led him out the back door. The half moon was out. The forecast had been wrong; it looked like it was freezing up again tonight. They stood on the re-freezing crusty snow in the back yard. He watched as she took some more deep breaths, exhaling in little clouds of condensation, over her nipples that were stiffening with the cold. Wisps of mist emanated from her body, still hot and moist from the bath. Then she squatted and peed. She never had a bashful kidney when it was just her and Rod, or some of her close friends. Sometimes they would stand in a circle around her, conversation going on without interruption as she relieved herself.
Rod and Tami both watched the steaming yellow hole that formed in the snow.
As the jet of urine slackened she looked up and said, “I want some eggs. Let’s go eat at the Plaza.”
In this town, that meant the Plaza Diner, three blocks away on Water Street. The snow crunched under her feet as she slowly sauntered to the side gate with an even gait.
“Wait, Babe, while I get my coat.” Rod also changed into his boots.
In a minute they were walking hand in hand down the small side street. He tried not to look over at her. Fortunately she seemed OK. By the time they got to the diner and she waved to Theo, the owner, and they got their favorite table at the back, it was back to being a normal night.
It would be too much to call the three-eggs-and-steak plate the “Tami winter special”, but that would have been appropriate, because hardly anyone else ordered it. Rod picked at his own pancakes as she started wolfing it down.
He brought up something that had been bothering him. “I still can’t believe you were so... casual about accepting that tail thing, that monstrosity, as a gift from that lawyer. Don’t you remember what they did to you?”
“It was mistaken identity. Anyway, it seems like it was a hundred years ago.” She leaned over and rubbed his scalp like it was a Buddha’s belly and she was wishing for good luck. In the process her breast leaned into her potatoes. She wiped it off with a napkin as she said, “What am I supposed to do, relive it over and over? If I dwelt on all that old stuff I’d go crazy.”
She had a point. That summer was three years ago, almost. She was just turning 19 then. From 19 to 22 is a long period in a person’s life. More than 22 to 25 was, as with him. It was a condescending thought, and Tami had been through enough trauma and shame for several lifetimes. But nonetheless true.
Rod wondered about that dream he had. What did it mean? That Tami was being tortured inside and it was up to him to help? Yet she seemed so well-adjusted to what life had handed her. Except for Henry Ross and Dean Jorgon and a few others, all of whom were gone, she had forgiven everyone involved in her freshman year torments. As she put it once, they were simply under mistaken impressions created by a couple of bad people. She was even on good terms with Homer Winant now, that clever creep. And who was Rod to say that this peace of mind was not real? It certainly seemed real to him. She never had unsettling dreams, like the one he just had.
As she sipped orange juice she giggled.
“I was just thinking -- what if I wore that tail around campus?”
All Rod could think of was how uncomfortable it would be, but he saw how it might be funny and played along. “Maybe just to parties?”
“Or special occasions. Like graduation.”
Now he did laugh. “Your valedictorian speech.”
He thought about sitting in the audience, using the remote to bring her to orgasm after orgasm as she spoke. Maybe he shouldn’t be turned on, considering her freshman year experiences. But still...
Stuffed for now, Tami sat back and put her feet up on the opposite seat, on each side of Rod. She fondled the sides of his jeans with her toes.
“How are your fans doing?”
“Attentive as ever. Spica keeps bringing up the idea of an after-hours get-together.”
“Spica. She’s a freshman. I don’t think you’ve met her yet.”
“Is this the ‘Tami-thon’ idea again?”
The two of them had never gotten each other’s views on this long-standing proposal because neither was sure what they thought about it themselves. But now Rod found himself saying, “If they want to do it at our house, that’s O.K. I’d like to be there, though.”
Tami looked at Rod. “It sounds too, like, intimate for you not to be there. Think of it as having Jen and Leisha visiting. The expanded version.”
“I don’t know if we can afford all that fine wine.”
“Not for me.”
“No, I prefer keeping my senses sharp. Like when I’m with you.”
So there he had it. The marathon, multi-tongue party idea had been OK with Tami all along.
Tami said, “You know, about this tail... If it does what Ms. Wickland says it does, it would come in handy, like the bra and panties from Chalfont.” Which she couldn’t wear any more.
The tail would certainly mean less work for him every night. He could just watch, or maybe work the remote, while her immense sexual thirst was quenched, instead of doing all that work of humping from below, from above, licking, sucking, always holding back, managing her orgasms so to speak. Instead, he could hold her hand as she spasmed to her heart’s (or clit’s) content, and just “come in” for the finish.
“The important thing is that I am with you, Babe.”
Tami inserted a sausage in a hole in Rod’s pancake, which made him chuckle. “You know I was doing all sorts of tasks while wearing that tail thing. Chopping branches, pulling buggies...”
“Babe, please -- I don’t want to hear about it.”
“My point is, sometimes I think it’s all work for you and all pleasure for me.”
“I don’t have your capacity.”
“Still. The tail will free up my hands and mouth and everything, to give you pleasure.”
“You DO give me pleasure.” At least as much as he could stand, considering he could only come once or maybe twice a night. Sundays, which they tried to reserve for being alone, he could usually come four times during the course of the day.
“What I’m thinking of is the TL’s,” Tami said. “They don’t ever want pleasure for themselves. All they want is to make me come a lot. And it’s not like they’re playing me like a pinball machine like you say. It’s kind of selfless. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but the way they get into it seems almost mystical.” She finished the last of her toast and then looked out the window into the black night. “I’m too much on the receiving end. I should devote myself more to pleasuring you. Be an RL. A Rod Licker.”