Ken's not sure how he feels about Callie taking a job as a private housemaid. The extra income will be nice but Callie has so much more potential.
Mr. Dixon, her new employer, sees a different kind of potential in her. A rich older guy with a dirty streak, he immediately realizes Callie isn't going to make a good housekeeper. So he makes her a different offer: he'll gladly pay to watch her strut around his office in a French maid's outfit.
Callie's not sure what to think at first. It's dirty work but of a different kind than she expected. When she confesses what her new job entails to Ken, his reaction startles her at first. Once she realizes how enamored he is by her naughtiness she's more than happy to keep him apprised of each new assignment Mr. Dixon gives her.
She quickly finds out Mr. Dixon's appetite for depravity is insatiable. Each new request he makes is dirtier than the last. How far can he bend her from her prim demeanor before she breaks? And does Ken really want to watch?
Ken ducked under the ornate door mantle of the firetrap they had just rented and stepped into the apartment. Five hundred square foot, one bedroom basement apartment with a carved mantle and a leaking toilet. “Lipstick on a pig,” he muttered.
Callie was sitting at the kitchen table, tapping something out on her phone.
He walked over, kissed the top of her head before setting his lunch box on the counter. She seemed lost in whatever it was she was doing on her phone. He peered over her shoulder to see her messaging app open, her fingers flying as she typed out a message. It was unusual not to get a “hello” from her when he came home. “Who ya’ textin’?” he asked.
“Hang on a sec…” she muttered.
Strange but he didn’t want to pry. “Everything okay?” he asked.
“Fine, fine,” she said, sounding a little impatient. “Just hang on a second.” She shooed him away with a wave.
He shrugged and walked to the bathroom to relieve himself. It had been a long day and he’d only had time for one bathroom break in the afternoon. Two months into his new job at the cell phone shop he had come to the realization that retail did, indeed, suck as much as everyone had told him it would. Every day he worked he came home exhausted. People were shit when they were paying you for something. Everything seemed to be generally shit these days.
Still beat living in his mom’s basement.
As he flushed the toilet, the banging started upstairs. Followed almost immediately by the high-pitched “yes! Yes! Yes!” and low rumble of the guy doing the shagging. “Fuck,” Ken muttered, glancing at his watch. Seven–thirty right on the dot. Every night. No train in the world ran as on-time as the guy living upstairs. Thanks to the paper-thin walls, him and Callie had a very intimate relationship with the upstairs couple’s sex life.
He glanced in the mirror and smoothed a stray hair before heading back out to the living room and sitting down at the table with Callie.
She smiled, put her phone down and walked around him. Put her hands on his shoulders and started giving him a nice rub.
“Babe. That feels amazing,” he groaned.
“I’m sorry I got snippy,” she said, leaning over him and kissing his cheek.
His heart warmed. He smiled and looked up over his shoulder at her. This made it all worthwhile.
Seeing Callie every night with her beautiful smile, jet-black hair framing her pretty face. No matter what happened during the day he knew everything was going to be alright when he came home to her at night. “Everything good?” he asked.
She bit her lip and glanced to the side. She looked…mischievous?
“Babe?” he said, flashing a confused smile.
“I have some news,” she said.
Unusual. He turned in his chair to face her. “News? What sort of news?” he asked.
She took a step back and hooked two fingers together in front of her lap. “I…got a job. Sort of.”
His eyes widened. He shot up off the chair and his hands shot up to her arms. “Babe? Are you serious?!? That’s amazing!” Relief flooded through him. The tension about their finances he’d been silently shouldering for the last two months eased ever so slightly.
“Don’t get too excited,” Callie said. “It’s a little…I hope you don’t get upset,” she said, her expression turning to worry.
“Upset? Sweetheart why would I get upset? This is amazing news? What is it? You’re killing me here!” he said, laughing. “What sort of work is it?”
She bit her lip again and the worry turned sheepish. “I answered an ad on a website. It’s not for a company or anything.”
“Okay. Are you going to freaking tell me what it is?” he nearly shouted, then burst into laughter again.
“Don’t be mad,” Callie said.
She let out a little huff of air. “It’s cleaning house.”
A moment of silence passed between them. Just slightly too long to be positive.
His heart sank a bit. Not at the revelation of what the job was. Hell, any job was great news. More so at the fact that his sweet wife of a year and a half had to go and clean other people’s houses. Because he’d insisted on a degree in history instead of computer science or a trade. Because they were riddled with debt and the only thing out there these days were retail and service jobs. He forced a smile. “That’s wonderful,” he said softly.
“You’re mad,” she said, her face falling.
“I am not mad, baby,” he reassured her. “I am absolutely totally tootedly not mad,” he said, lifting her chin with a finger until her eyes met his.
“But you’re disappointed. I can tell. I can see it in your eyes.”
“Listen to me,” he said. “Listen hard okay? Okay?”
“You promise you’re listening?” Getting a little goofy always got her giggling and it worked the same this time.
She laughed and shook her head.
“Okay. Now I’ve got your attention. I am thrilled, thrilled about this news. The only reason I hesitated is…” He paused, wondering if he should tell her. She’d only worry. About him and how he was feeling. She was such a nerdy little worry-wart. She’d always find something to worry about. Still, he didn’t want her thinking he was mad. That would be worse. “The reason I hesitated is that I just feel bad. Not about your job. About the fact that you have to go do that. Because…because I can’t provide for you the way I should be able to.”
Her brow furrowed. “Ken don’t say that,” she said, shaking her head.
“I mean it. I want to be able to keep you barefoot in the kitchen. Pregnant one day, too. Of course I don’t want you cleaning houses but…”
“Now you listen, mister,” she said, her face flushing with the cutest look of fury he’d ever seen. “We’re in this together. It’s the twenty-first century. You think I don’t feel terrible that I haven’t contributed anything in the last two months?”
He sighed and pulled her into a hug. “Let’s just forget about it,” he said, resting his jaw on top of her head. He closed his eyes and breathed in the scent of her lemony shampoo. “I’m happy for you,” he said. “I’m happy for us.” He released her and looked into her eyes again. “This is temporary. This isn’t forever. I’m gonna’ come up with a plan. We’re going to come up with a plan and we’re going to work our asses right out of this shit hole and into a real life. Okay?”
She smiled, then giggled. “It’s such a shit hole, Ken,” she said, looking around the place.
He put his fists on his hips like he was Superman and surveyed their surroundings. Peeling wallpaper. A leaky faucet. A fridge from the nineteen fifties that he suspected was coal-powered. “It is a massive shit-hole,” he said, turning to look at her again. “But it’s our shit-hole. And. It’s always better than?” He put a hand up to his ear and cupped it.
“It’s better than living in your mom’s basement.”
He gave a solid nod.
She laughed again. Took his hand and led him to the beat up old couch his mom had given them when they moved out. Plunked herself down on it and dragged him down with her. Put her feet on his lap and wiggled her toes in her socks.
He grabbed one and dug his thumb into the arch.
“That’s nice,” she said, smiling.
A slight pressure started in his groin. If he played it right sometimes a foot rub would lead to more intimate expressions of affection and he liked that.