Chapter 3

“Judy? How’d it go?”

Even though she had been expecting her husband’s question, Judy hesitated for a split second. She had never lied to Mark before. “Oh, all right. I got the listing, just as I expected.”

But not the way I expected, she added silently to herself.

She suddenly noticed the faint gleam of sweat on her husband’s face. So soon? Was it starting again so soon? “How are you, darling?” she asked softly, bending over to give him a kiss. She caught his faint, distinctive odor – the smell of a body slowly going sour.

“Can’t kick,” he replied, half seriously.

Judy frowned. “Your knees again?”

Mark grinned tightly, humorlessly. “My knees, my ankles, my hips, my shoulders, my elbows. Hell, even my toes hurt.”

Judy settled down in his lap and cuddled him tenderly. “Oh, Mark,” she said miserably. “Maybe we should call and reschedule your appointment?”

“And lop another half a week off my life?”

Judy winced. “With the listing I got today, if I line up the buyer, too, that’ll do it.”

“Think it’ll all pan out?”

“It has to,” she said quickly.

“I don’t know how you think you’re going to do it,” he commented innocently.

Judy lurched guiltily, then snuggled against him, ignoring the clammy coldness of his skin. “Just be the best damn real estate agent in town.”

“And how many hours of work is that going to take?” he asked. “Judy, I want you with me as much as possible. We don’t have much time together left.”

Judy stiffened, angry. His defeatist attitude rankled. He was talking as if she was sure to lose him.

“Mark, I’m working so we’ll have each other forever,” she argued.

“The vows said ‘Til death us do part,’ nothing more,” he reminded her.

“Death separates everyone sooner or later. In our case it’s going to be sooner.”

“No sooner than necessary.” She glared at him. “What’s gotten into you?

You’ve never been a quitter.”

“I’m not quitting, I’m being quit,” Mark replied sourly. “I’m not pulling the plug, God and that damned Committee are pulling the plug.”

Judy surged up out of his lap, furious. “Nobody’s pulling the plug on you,” she snapped. “I don’t know why God has done what He’s done, that’s His business. As for The Committee, they made what seems to them to be the best decision.” She was pacing furiously back and forth in front of him. “As for us, we are not giving up. I am not giving up, and you are not giving up. I am not going to let you give up. We are going to fight and keep fighting until we get a dialysis machine!”

And what I went through for you today is not going to be for nothing, she thought bitterly.

Mark slumped wearily. The sweat was thicker on his forehead. It was forming shining beads. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry,” he apologized weakly.

“I guess the damn, damn itching is getting to me.”

Judy felt a surge of sympathy for him, but no regret for her outburst.

She knew it was getting harder and harder for him to fight, and she had to keep him going, any way she could. Of all the symptoms of his disease, the worst was the itching. He described it as a creepy, crawling sensation just under his skin, as if the flesh was softening and melting away.

“Why don’t you go get undressed?” she said softly. “I’ll run a bath for you, then I can give you a rubdown.”

“Okay, honey,” he sighed, hauling himself up out of the chair.

Judy watched him leave the room, then slumped down in the chair herself. She covered her face with her hands and rubbed her eyes wearily. If she had been the crying type, she would have cried. Before all this had started, Mark had been brave and powerful and strong. Bit by vicious bit he was being eaten away by the dread disease. His physical strength had rapidly vanished, and now his courage was fading, too.

She knew, she had learned, that dialysis patients had the highest suicide rate in the country. Forever dependent on a stainless steel tank full of cellophane-like tubes and membranes, they suffered the tortures of the damned as poisons accumulated in their bloodstreams.

The plastic tubes piercing their arms itched and ached, the skin around them ulcerated and tore no matter how careful they were. The plastic shunts constantly had to be repaired and replaced.

Added to that was the unending expense – three hundred dollars a treatment, one or two treatments a week. And for Mark, because of his rare blood type, there was the additional problem of finding the blood needed to prime the machine.

With a sigh, Judy got up. At times, she felt almost as weary and beaten as her husband did. But, she couldn’t give up – she wouldn’t give up.

This morning she had taken a step toward saving him. It had been a step downward, true. But she had done it, and she was glad she had.

Mark was nude when he came into the bathroom. Judy steadied him with one hand as he stepped into the cool water. She carefully avoided noting how much more of his muscle tone had melted away. But she couldn’t avoid eyeing his cock and mentally comparing it with Steven Shein’s. Mark’s was longer when limp, though slightly smaller in diameter.

The way it bobbed and weaved as he lowered himself into the water brought a brilliant memory of Shein’s cock rolling and twisting during the impromptu backstroke race.

“Feel good?” she asked, sitting on the edge of the tub.

“Aaaahhh,” Mark sighed. His knees pushed up out of the water as he slid down and immersed his torso. He threw her a grateful look. “You’re getting your skirt wet,” he pointed out.

Judy glanced down. “Doesn’t matter, it needs washing anyway.”

“I’m sorry I’m falling apart,” he apologized. “I know you’re trying awfully hard. But the chances of getting enough money to get the dialysis unit are just plain pitiful. And I’m tired of having a hope held out in front of me, like a carrot in front of an ass, and then snatched away. And even if we somehow get the unit, how are we going to get the money to pay for running it?”

“You’ll be able to work again,” she reminded him.

Mark snorted. “Sure. High school athletic coaches really rake in the dough.”

“I’ll be working too,” she said determinedly, getting up from the edge of the tub. “When you’re done soaking, come on out and I’ll give you a massage. As for running the kidney machine, that’s a bridge we can cross when we come to it.”

She went out to the bedroom and started to sit down on the bed, then remembered her skirt was wet. After letting it drop around her ankles, she stepped out of it. Wearing just her blouse and her panties, she sat down on the bed and waited for her husband.

Wordlessly, Mark wandered in from the bathroom, a towel wrapped around his hips. He flopped bonelessly, face down, on the bed. Sliding over until her hips pressed against his, Judy twisted and began kneading the tense muscles in his shoulders and neck.

Mark grunted appreciatively as her strong, yet graceful fingers prodded and squeezed his souring flesh. After working his shoulders over from the center outward, Judy began to work down his back. Her hands were dwarfed by the expanse of flesh, making her task look almost endless.

Judy wished that the task was endless. She loved Mark, loved doing what she could for him, loved giving him pleasure. He had told her that cool baths and her thorough rubdowns were the only things, other than having the poisons purged from his blood, that eased the agony.

At the small of his back, Judy was forced to twist awkwardly around.

She got to her knees, then straddled Mark’s thighs. She tugged at the towel until it came free, unwrapped his hips, and exposed his hard white muscular ass. With the same easy motion she had used on his back, she kneaded his buttocks, her thumbs probing into the hairy crack between them. Then she worked her way down his thighs, finally finishing by rolling his hairy calves between her palms.

Unstraddling him, she moved up next to his shoulders, hooked her hands under one of them and pulled. Mark neither resisted her, nor helped her. It took a huge effort on her part before she got him flopped over on his back.

She noticed out of the corner of her eye that his cock was half erect.

She swallowed tightly. She wasn’t horny, not after Steven Shein. But she knew what the rubdown was inexorably leading to. It always did. She knew she couldn’t break the pattern.

After arranging Mark’s arms out to the sides, as if he were being crucified, she straddled his hard, flat stomach. She massaged the sides of his neck with the tips of her fingers, then bent down and gave him a gentle, tender kiss. His torso felt warm and sturdy between her thighs and under her buttocks. She gripped his flanks with her knees as if she were riding a horse.

Finished with his neck, she proceeded down to his pectoral muscles. As she worked her way down from them, she slid her ass lower on his body.

She felt his cock jab her in the rear and lifted, then lowered herself on it. It lay up against his belly, hard and stiff in the crack of her ass.

As she massaged the muscles of Mark’s solar plexus, he reached up and unbuttoned her blouse. Then he spread it open to bare the graceful, firm, pink-tipped mounds of her breasts. His big hands formed a truly living bra for them, pressing them against her ribs, kneading and squeezing them.

Judy felt the crotch of her panties get suddenly wet where it was stretched tight across her pussy. She broke off her massage long enough to shed the blouse and dropped it off to one side of the bed. Then she sat up straight, her hands on her bare thighs. Her spine was straight, her shoulders back – the graceful, controlled posture of a gymnast.

Mark’s eyes filled. She looked like she was just past puberty: small, firm, pert breasts with tiny, tight, excited nipples. He slid his hands up from her waist until his thumbs swept over the mounds of her breasts and scrubbed her sharp pink tits.

“You still have your panties on,” he informed her.

“I’m not done yet,” she said softly.

“Oh?”

“When I give a rubdown,” she stated, “I give a rubdown.”

“Do all your customers get such personal attention?” Mark asked, smiling.

Judy flinched. “Certainly not, sir!” she snapped, in mock outrage.

“Only the big tippers!” She rolled his cock against her tight bottom to emphasize the pun.

Mark chuckled, and pushed his hips up slightly against her weight. He continued his tactile study of her tender, nubile breasts.

Judy was bubbling with excitement from his touch, and the feel of his cock trapped under her ass.

“If you will unhand the masseuse, she will continue her task,” Judy commented at last.

Reluctantly, Mark released her breasts. Before letting go, his thumbs and fingers tugged gently at her nipples.

Judy slid lower on her husband. Looking down, she watched his cock peek out from under her. As she slid lower it looked as if she was growing a cock.

She remembered Steven Shein’s cock, then tried to put it out of her mind. Shein’s cock wasn’t as long as Mark’s, but was bigger around when erect. Judy bit her lip. Mark’s innocent comments kept getting to her.

If she wasn’t careful, she was bound to give her infidelity away.

She dug her thumbs into Mark’s belly, then massaged lower and lower, letting her hands follow the line where his thighs joined his body, an arrowhead that ended in his groin. Mark’s stomach muscles quivered and convulsed from the touch of her hands so close to his sexual organs.

Judy slid her thumbs down between his thighs, under his balls, and lifted them gently. She rolled them on her fingers, watching the way the heavy ovoids shifted in their sac. Then, laying his sex glands back between his thighs, she stroked her thumbs up the length of his cock.

She felt it swell and quiver from the delicate, tantalizing stimulation.

Mark was aware of the pressure of Judy’s ass on his legs, the way her thighs and knees were gripping his. He was watching the way her breasts shifted and quivered as she leaned over him, her arms pressing against the sides of her boobs to make the valley between them deeper and more exciting. The feathery touch of her thumbs endlessly stroking the length of his cock, from base to tip, seemed to draw blood from every part of his body to the already bloated organ. He felt a stinging wave of fire as his glands produced a flood of lubricant. It oozed the length of the channel in his prick. Then Judy deliberately smeared the liquid over his phallus. It made her thumbs slippery, changed the feel of her stroking, made it even more wildly sensuous.

Judy wriggled her ass lower, and leaned farther forward over Mark’s groin. The tight crotch of her panties felt chill and sticky from her own excitement. But she wasn’t going to take his cock in her vagina.

Her conscience told her that she didn’t deserve that joy after what she had done with Shein. Instead, she would concentrate on giving Mark all the pleasure she knew how.

She lifted his cock with her fingers and lowered her head to it. The tips of her breasts brushed his big thighs as she neared her goal. She opened her lips, carefully wrapped them around the head of his phallus, and drew her head upward, letting his prick slide from her pursed lips.

She immediately lowered her head again, and took his cock further into her mouth. She added the stimulation of her tongue this time. Her mouth was filled with the salty taste of his fluids, her nose was engulfed in the musky smell of sex.

She bobbed her head, taking more and more and more of the hot, heavy tower of flesh into her mouth, pressing and massaging it with her lips and tongue. She scrubbed the hot tips of her breasts against Mark’s hairy thighs. Her nipples burned with lust. She clutched his legs between her thighs tightly, loving the feel of his strong, hard flesh against her tender skin.

Her eyes closed, she sucked and sucked and sucked her husband’s cock, taking it as deeply into her as she could without gagging. With her hands she stimulated the part of the shaft she couldn’t get in her mouth, matching the stroking of her fingers to the moves of her head, tugging and stretching the loose skin over the hard inner core of his phallus.

Mark’s entire being was focused on the feel of Judy’s sweet young mouth massaging his erect prick. Her tongue was a velvet mass pressing and scrubbing the most sensitive spot on the underside of his prick, making his groin burn and ache with lust. Her lips, a hot, wet ring around the shaft, were excitingly different from a vaginal embrace. And the way she pulled and stretched the skin of his phallus near the base, with her fingers, gave the impression she had taken the entire towering organ down her throat.

Streams of fire seemed to be pouring through Mark’s body, funneling straight to his groin to form a simmering pool. From time to time he lifted his head and looked down the length of his body. He loved seeing Judy’s face spitted on his cock, loved to watch her devour his towering organ. Then the muscles of his neck would tire and he would drop his head back on the bed.

Judy’s own guts were burning up with unfulfilled lust. She truly loved sucking Mark’s cock, even though it left her own vagina empty and hungry. And this time her lack of fulfillment seemed only just in view of her infidelity.

She took another fraction of Mark’s cock in her mouth, to the back of her tongue. Then she slid the fingers of one hand down under his balls and lifted them gently. She scratched high on the underside of his scrotum, tickled the hot pocket between his thighs.

She felt his testicles drawing up toward his body. She thought of cannonballs drawing near the breech of a big gun, knew they were getting ready to unload their burden down the barrel of Mark’s cock.

Mark’s hips were heaving now, thrusting his prick at his wife’s face, jamming it into her. He tried to hold back, to keep from forcing his phallus too deeply into her mouth, knowing it would make her gag if he did. She helped restrain his thrusting hips by pinning his thighs down with her warm, soft torso. He could feel her tits, hard knots, digging into his thighs.

Judy matched the bobbing of her head to the flexing of Mark’s hips. She took as much of his cock in her mouth as she dared – as much as experience had taught her that she could without choking. As the violence of Mark’s heaving increased, Judy speeded the moves of her head.

He thrust upward, and, simultaneously, Judy pushed her head downward.

With the fingers of one hand she tugged gently on the saliva-coated skin of his prick. With the fingers of the other hand, she pressed against the hard pulsing ridge behind his balls. She felt that ridge tremble, felt the semen rush the length of his prick.

A heavy wad of cum spurted from his phallus into her throat, making her swallow reflexively. She began sucking and swallowing frantically as wave after wave of semen spasmed into her mouth. She felt each hot gob of fluid pour down into her belly to form a warm, muscle-knotting pool in her stomach, which she had never let it do before. She had let his cock spurt into empty air, or she had taken his semen in her mouth and then spat it out. This time she was swallowing it as penance.

She found she enjoyed it, enjoyed ingesting the thick, creamy liquid.

The massaging and squirming of her tongue as she swallowed kept his cumming going on and on and on, until at last his prick was pumping drily in her mouth, its reserves of cum exhausted. Slowly, the convulsing died away and the organ between her teeth began to shrivel and soften.

Judy spat it out, then laid her head down, Mark’s wiry pubic hair brushing her cheek, the cum and saliva-coated mass of his prick against her ear. She lay there for a long time – until the last hungry convulsions of her empty vagina died away. She had had an orgasm in spite of herself.

At last she pushed up, about to say something to Mark. The sight of his sleep-placid face stopped her. He had dozed off while she had been cuddling him.

Judy dismounted carefully, trying not to shake or jostle the bed. Mark shifted slightly, then began snoring easily again. Judy’s panties were soaked for the second time that day. She stripped them down her legs and off. Then she caught sight of herself in the full-length mirror.

For a moment she studied her trim young body in profile – a series of graceful feminine curves and smooth pale skin.

“Breasts too small,” Judy muttered, irritated with herself for her narcissism. She pulled on her bathrobe and went to get dinner started.

As she worked in the kitchen, her mind kept going back to her infidelity, dwelling on it no matter what she did.

While Mark had been suffering at home, she had been screwing around with a strange man, with total abandon. New waves of disgust flooded her. Even when she reminded herself that she had gotten the listing, her guilt was a sharp knife in her guts.

How could she have done that to Mark? And how could she have enjoyed it so much? She couldn’t deny that the orgasm Shein had given her was every bit as good as any she had ever gotten from Mark.

“How’s the sexiest chef in the world?” Mark asked, wrapping his arms around her. He slid one hand inside the front of her robe and cupped her breast.

Judy lurched with surprise, and guilt, then leaned back against him for a delicious, fleeting moment. “She’s going to burn something if her husband doesn’t unhand her.”

“Humph,” he grunted, giving the side of her neck a kiss.

“Have a nice nap?” she asked after he let her go.

“Ummm hmmm,” he acknowledged.

“Feeling better?”

“For now…”

Judy bit her lip. She knew what the rest of the statement was – “Wish it could last.”

“What’s for dinner?” Mark asked at last.

“Chili.”

“Again?”

“On rice. Makes the meat go farther.”

“Goody, goody,” Mark sighed. “Christ, I wish I could have a drink!”

Judy shook her head. “No.”

“I know. No alcohol, no coffee, no tea, no cola beverages,” Mark recited grimly. “I never have smoked. What’s left in life, anyway?”

“Sex, of course,” Judy answered easily, carrying the food to the table.

“Thank God for that,” Mark said heartily, pulling his chair out. He stared pensively at his plate.

On a sudden impulse, Judy bowed her head and did something she hadn’t done since she was a child. “For that which we are about to receive, we thank Thee,” she muttered. “Amen.” And God forgive me for what I have done, she added silently.

Mark looked startled. “Grace?” he asked in surprise.

Judy shrugged, not meeting his eyes. “Thought we might as well get all the help we can,” she answered.

Mark began eating. “You really think you can pull off this real estate deal?” he asked between bites.

Judy picked at her dinner. “I have to.”

“I know you have to,” Mark replied. “But do you think you can?”

Judy slapped her spoon onto the steaming plate of chili and rice as if she were trying to kill it. “I have got to do it! I will do it! I will, I will, I will!”

“Okay, okay,” Mark soothed.

“Sorry,” she apologized.

He touched her hand tenderly. “It’s all right. God, I wish I could tell you, or show you, just how much it all means to me – all the things you’ve done for me.”

The knife turned in Judy’s guilt-ridden guts. “Just keep on living, that’s all I ask. If-if you go and die on me, I’ll never speak to you again!”

Mark smiled. They had made that joke before. “When do you meet with the buyer?” he asked.

“Tomorrow at one,” she answered. “I’m going to show him the house then.”

“How are the chances?” he asked. “Honest injun.”

Judy shook her head. “I don’t know. Mr. McCarter wants something a little more traditional. The Shein place is very modern. It is the right size, and it has a pool, and an incredible view. The price is a little high. I don’t know.”

They were both silent for a while.

“But I’ve got to sell it! I’ve just got to!” she said softly.

They finished dinner in silence.

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