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Corrupting April

by Arnica Butler

April and Thomas continue on their hotwifing journey, with another thoroughly indecent, but lucrative, proposal from April's voyeuristic benefactor. But as they stretch the boundaries of their marriage, Thomas senses that he is losing control: of April's actions, of himself, and of his own dark fantasies. Is his wife the same April he married? Or have they really gone too far?

Worse yet: has April gone too far, all by herself?

Chapter 1

Party is almost over
Some of us want to go to a club
That okay with you

I was sitting in the living room, whiskey in hand, zombified expression plastered to my face, when I read this message from April.
I hadn't meant to get drunk, nor had I meant to spend the entire evening obsessing about what April was doing at her sex siren, nebulously porn-employed or porn-employing childhood friend Lilith's house. I had given her permission to attend the party, telling her I really didn't feel like going. Secretly, I suppose I had hoped that April would not want to go without me, or that she would try harder to drag me along. Looking back on it, I think I had contrived the moment like a trap, hoping in one way that April would sidestep it, and in another way, hoping she would step into it.
"You don't want to come with me?" April had asked, genuinely befuddled.
"Nah," I said. "You've seen one party at Lilith's, you've seen them all."
April had looked at me after I said this, with an expression that made me think she was finally getting wise to me and my twisted mind.
But then, she scratched her head and tossed her hair - a gesture that was faintly reminiscent of something Lilith did all the time (and quietly unsettling, as a result) - before shrugging. "Oh... kay," she had said. She was already typing by the time she asked, her voice dripping with disinterest, "Is it okay if I go without you, then?"
What was it that had made me say "yes?" Or rather, "yeah, sure?" A self-destructive impulse? It certainly wasn't for lack of imagination, or lack of thinking ahead.
I think ahead. I was thinking ahead.
So I must have known that April would go to the party and stay late, and that "something" was bound to happen when she did. Had I foreseen the club? Not really, but that was only because Lilith's house parties were like a club, only with fewer rules and less driving.
I stared at the wall without responding for a good long while, considering my predicament, which was, no matter what angle I attempted to look at it from, entirely of my own doing.
I was the one with the hotwife fantasy.
I was the one who had gently suggested it to my wife when opportunity knocked, in the form of her childhood friend, the sex siren Lilith.
I was the one who had placed my fingers at April's back all along, pushing her gently toward doing the things I secretly fantasized about her doing. I had encouraged her to step outside of our marriage vows, with first one man, and then two. I had agreed to let her make a porno, and if truth be told, I had done it greedily and hungrily. I had sent her to the party alone, partly so that I could sit here in the living room, aching, playing with the fire of April's possible infidelity.
But what would infidelity be, at this point? April had already become a porn-star, a natural slut, a filthy, juicy sex object hidden beneath her sweet exterior. And I loved her that way, I wanted more of her that way.
But I had become an addict, and I had seen that coming as well: like pornography, and booze, and anything else delicious you sink your teeth into, there was a steady tick of desensitization. A constant need to dose myself a little more, each time, to get the same high.
So - perhaps because of all of that, perhaps because I was drunk, perhaps both - I finally let my gaze tear from the plain gray wall, and I responded to her text.

just tell me everything

I mulled this over for a moment and then added:

no sex

I typed this right before I - perhaps because of the reasons described above, perhaps because of the booze - summoned an Uber, rose from my chair, and strolled to the master bedroom to find something worthy of wearing to a club.
I did all of this in a self-inflicted daze. It's the sort of state I put myself into consciously whenever I'm doing something I know I shouldn't really be doing. It relies on momentum, this state: move from one thing to the next, to the next step immediately in front of you, and do not think about anything else beyond that.
"You got an address yet?" the Uber driver asked. It was only then that I realized I had no idea where they were going. I also noted, with a degree of irritation that I knew logically wasn't warranted, that April hadn't gotten back to me about my last text. Not so much as an "okay." There was no rule between us that she had to, necessarily, and she had taken the time to send me a message asking for my go-ahead in the first place.
But it irked me that she hadn't responded.
Irked me, and set me to thinking about all the infinite betrayals that could unfold from there. I gave the cabbie the name of a club downtown, and sat back, not really believing myself or my actions. But that was only for the briefest moment in time.
Then, I started plotting again.