Anna had been expecting her phone to ring. That’s why it was laying next to her plate on the cafeteria table, instead of being tucked away in her purse. What she had not expected was for the screen to show Leah’s number instead of Sean’s. In between her meetings, when she had a couple of moments to think, she couldn’t help but wonder if maybe she had gone just a little too far this morning. She put down the sandwich she was having for lunch, wiped her hands on a napkin and answered the call.
“Yes?” she asked apprehensively.
“Okay seriously, what did you do to my brother?” Leah could barely get the words out through her laughter.
“Nothing.” Anna said a bit defensive. “Well, almost nothing. I’m trying to teach him not to distract me when I should be at the office. It’s hard enough to keep my attention on work as is.”
“So you’re making him cook? Perfect! That will teach him. He hates cooking.”
“I didn’t actually say he should cook. I just said he should have dinner on the table when I came home. I would have been fine with take-out.”
“Hmhmm, well I just got a panicked phone call from Sean on his way to the supermarket, begging me to text him an easy recipe. You’re getting spaghetti by the way…Wait, when you come home? He’s at your place?”
Anna started giggling, suddenly a little embarrassed by what she had done. “I, um, gave him my key this morning. He’s supposed to fold my laundry and vacuum the floors, too.”
More laughter from the other side of the line. Anna promised they would meet up soon so she could tell Leah the full story and they said goodbye. Her lunch break was over and she needed to get back to the office. Two more meeting to get trough. Maybe she could get away with leaving early today.
Anna walked out of the office building a full hour before her usual quitting time. In her last meeting of the day she had managed to talk the client into spending twice their original budget and her manager had been very pleased, so when she mentioned she had some personal business to take care of he was happy to let her go home.
Leaving early did mean she was walking again since there was no bus at this hour. Anna didn’t mind walking. The day was still cold but the last bit of sunshine gave everything a friendly orange glow. The cold would give her face a glow as well, meaning she would look good when she got home to Sean.
Sean. She took a deep breath, wound up with anticipation. He hadn’t called today. She had told him not to, but hadn’t really expected him to obey her. The idea he would, willingly, just obey outrageous demands made her giggle. She knew that was the whole point of the game, it still seemed strange. She wondered if he had really folded her clothes and vacuumed the floor. Maybe he had! Anna laughed out loud. She didn’t know why that struck her as funny, but it did.
She walked on with a big grin on her face. Of course, the chores had not been the point. Him doing whatever she had told him to do wasn’t even the point. Not really. The point of picking the laundry and vacuuming was he would have no other choice but to go into the guest room. She kept both the vacuum and the laundry baskets in there. And on the bed in the guest room stood her box with sex toys and various restraining devices. She had placed it there last time she had been searching for something else and had still not gotten around to putting it back under the bed. There had not been anyone around she felt she had to hide them from.
Her collection was modest, but the pieces she did have had required a substantial investment and were obviously not bought on a whim. She was sure Sean would recognize that much. That was the reason she had been expecting him to see through her game and give her a call.
The thought she would come home to an empty apartment with the door wide open did cross her mind briefly, but Leah’s call had made that seem even less likely then when she first dismissed the thought. Besides, she knew where he lived. ‘Where he was staying’ part of her mind corrected her. Anna pushed the voice out of her head. She had no use for spoil sports tonight.
Anna pushed the button for her own apartment and had a moment to reflect on how good it felt to be coming home to someone. It didn’t take long for the speaker to start making noise.
“Hey, stranger. It’s Anna. Buzz me in”
“Oh! You’re early.”
It was hard to tell over the crappy quality of the intercom, but Anna thought she could pick up on a slight panic in Sean’s voice. A second later the buzzer sounded and she pushed the door open. She ran up the stairs. She almost could not stand the anticipation.
Her door was open so she let herself in. “Hello”
“Dinner is almost ready.” Sean called from the kitchen “I didn’t know you would be early.”
Anna smiled and took off her coat. For someone who didn’t like to cook it certainly smelled good. She looked around. It seemed Sean had indeed vacuumed. Not only that, he had put the stack of books that were next to the couch back in the book case. The table was set. He had even found the glass candle holder she usually only pulled out at Christmas. A brand new candle was burning in it. She heard a popping sound from the kitchen. Anna’s smile widened. That sounded like a wine bottle being opened.
Then she noticed a paper bag with the logo of a nearby drugstore on the coffee table. She couldn’t resist the urge to peek inside. The bag contained pack of condoms and a tube of lubricant. Anna felt a rush of heat run through her body.
“That’s not what it looks like.” Sean said a little alarmed behind her.
She turned to face him, amused. Sean was holding the freshly opened wine bottle and a glass. He was looking a bit flustered. “Oh, It’s not?” she asked innocently.
“I didn’t think…I mean, I wasn’t expecting…Um..”
Anna enjoyed seeing him turn red and stumble over his words. She walked up to him and took the wine glass. Sean filled it, still trying to find the words to explain away his purchase. “..I though, you know, just in case…”
“No, I get it.” Anna took a sip of the wine. She was impressed. It was a good one. “I can appreciate a man who’d prepare for any eventuality”
Sean looked relieved. “Enjoy the wine. I can dish up in a moment.”