Dayton Hargrave looked at the sleeping form of his fiancée, Bobbie. She was on her side, facing away from him while she slept, as always. There was enough moonlight coming through the shades to see the almost imperceptible rise and fall of her outline as she breathed.
They'd finished making love about an hour ago, and she'd drifted off to sleep immediately without so much as a word. Yep, just turned over on her side and went to sleep after the job was done. Why did he just call it a job? he wondered. Is that what it was for her? For him? He couldn't exactly tell. At least she still let him have sex with her, he reasoned. And the sex was okay, and at least she didn't complain about it. Some of his friends had joked about their wives shutting the proverbial gate as soon as they got married, or as soon as the kids came, or as soon as they . . .whatever. But he really couldn't tell if she genuinely enjoyed sex. Having the lights on and being able to see her face would have provided a bit more information in that regard, but the lights had to be off before things got rolling. Her rule, not his.
He shifted uncomfortably and resumed staring at the ceiling. Lately he noticed he was growing increasingly frustrated, and he couldn't pinpoint the reason. Maybe it was just wedding jitters. In only six months, they'd be tying the knot. It wasn't as if things were bad between them, it was as if he were detached somehow, standing at a distance and watching them circle one another. Was she detached somehow too?
Dayton sighed. What the hell did he know, really, about anything she felt? Everything used to always be okay with her. What was that line from that movie? Jell-O and pudding. Yeah, that was it. Everything was always Jell-O and pudding with her. Even when he thought he'd done something to anger her, she used to just smile and say, "No, no, I'm fine. Really."
But now his mind wandered to the fundraiser they'd attended last week. Dayton had made an inappropriate joke at the dinner table - too much scotch had made it, really - and everyone had looked at him all tight-lipped and tight-assed, and this time Bobbie did too. Just as well; he'd grown sick and damned tired of her laughing at his jokes when even he knew they weren't funny. He thought he'd love that in a woman, but this was just . . .
He sighed loudly and slapped his palms to his face. What was the damned problem? What, he was annoyed when she agreed with him, and he was annoyed when she didn't? Why couldn't he cut her some slack lately? She was pretty, she was intelligent enough, she didn't seem to mind sex, she fit in okay with his friends - most of whom he knew to be elitist snobs, but, hey, friends didn't just grow on trees, did they? He figured they were all phonies, himself included, in that maybe they only pretended to tolerate each other. Bobbie probably hated his friends. The males in his circle stole glances at Bobbie's big breasts; the women probably resented them. The males loved her bawdy jokes; the women probably resented them. But everyone tolerated her at least, which was a far cry from the treatment some of his previous women had received. He'd brought his share of girlfriends to the circle before, and the reception had often been downright icy. Who wants a woman no one can stand? Hell, if truth be told, maybe Bobbie even held him in only ...what was that line from that movie? Medium esteem. That was it. But he had more than a few bucks, and he knew that made him easier to tolerate.
He looked at her again, his gaze following the sensuous curve of her hip. How often he'd thought of easing over, pressing his erection up against her back, raising her nightgown and taking her from behind. But she hated "doing it," as she called it, from behind; she thought it was degrading. The one and only time he'd gotten her on her hands and knees for him, he'd been so turned on a