The intention in these stories is to expound on the idea first presented in a play written by the late, great George Bernard Shaw. Don’t know who he is or of the play Man and Superman? Google it~ cool read, quite interesting, and one of my favorites. Note: I’m quite aware of the need for editing this piece, and will attempt to do so before hell freezes over. *smirks*

Jack and Ann is the introductory part of the short stories that myself and another writer in the medium form of role-play have written as an adaptation of this play. The setting is mid-21st century; and not the Victorian era as Shaw first depicted in this play. The idea or premise is essentially the same, but the dialog is completely different. Sometimes, raw, maybe edgy but essentially the issue is of how men and women often do not think alike; even and especially in matters of the heart. The characterization of Ann is written by the writer~ Christina Smallwood. And, I write the characterization of Jack. Together the process of role play evolves into we hope a smooth running short story representation. Here is our work.

Jack & Ann~ (Authors: Paula Clark, Christina Smallwood ©2010/5)
Had he ever considered the consequences when he first laid eyes on Ann? An interesting thought occurs to Jack as he ponders the thought and dwells on the verb preceding eyes. A smirk tugs playfully at the corner of his mouth, as he meditates further, but not on Ann, but in getting LAID.

It’s true what she says of me… he furthers the soliloquy and continues to wash the glass in his hand, I’m a pig! he retorts and he leans laboriously over the week’s worth of dishes in his sink. “But I could be worse…” He murmurs absently and then peers at the bull terrier asleep at his feet. An audible groan proliferates from the beast, although he’s asleep. “Bruno, are you listening to me, or are you simply chasing some bitch in your sleep, too.” Jack chuckles to himself, and now places the sparkling clean glass in the drainer and turns away from the dishes to peer into his yard.

It had been weeks since Ann left him this last time, and what of it… he exaggerates his sigh on the matter in his mind. She is better off finding a man who is destined to become the toy of a woman…but not me; I’m not the one for Ann, and yet he now wistfully glances at the undone dishes piled in the sink and although only lustful intentions gain the stronghold in his mind, he can’t help but wonder of the cleanliness that abounds in his humble abode when a woman, although manipulative and hell-bent upon marrying him off to herself…maybe I should give her a call… He muses. ..

“Nearly a month”, Ann thought to herself. Things had been quiet for the most part and at least her work was cut in half since she left Jack to his own devices. She cringed at the thought of what the place looked like and wondered if perhaps she shouldn’t show up in a bull dozer of sorts just to clear the path through the front door. “What makes me mad enough to want to marry this guy?” She pondered. She couldn’t complain at all about the sex at least that was one thing he was good at. She chortled out loud and continued to sort away at bills and things on her desk.

It was then she came across the family will and the smirk on her face soon turned into a frown. She was glad her father was gone, he would be shamed if he knew the lifestyle she had led and had not married Jack as of yet. Snapping the pencil in her fingers, she then rose from her place and headed off to the kitchen. Perhaps a snack might settle her nerves.

Grappling with his cell phone for a moment and keying through the array of numbers, Jack pauses among the letters of the alphabet. His mind again wanders as he realizes how few names appear under the letter “A”. ‘Ann’ is the only prominent name that stands out there…and he ponders the subtlety of suggestion in that; and then peruses through the other listings, in the event he isn’t able to reach her. No sense wasting minutes… He concludes in his mind.

The Jessica’s, the Holly’s, and even Keisha’s that crop up on his small screen captivate his imagination and wonder of how he’s collected so many names, but different women…”Whores! All of them!” He grumbles, loudly and notes Bruno’s ears perk up and one lazy eye open and look to his master. “You know what I’m talking about don’t you…” He smirks at his trusted companion. “You’d say, Fi Fi or Gi Gi…those French Poodles you get so excited about at the dog park. Same difference, Bruno~ I dare say; but not my Ann. She’s in a class all her own.” He continues to moan and groan, woefully at the dog.

Once Jack has invested enough time looking through his seeming electronic black book, he returns to the letter “A” and sighs inwardly as he highlights her name and pushes send. “You’ll see~ she’ll agree to a dog park picnic with you and me.” Jack grins haplessly at the dog; who appears to hang on his master’s every word. “It’s ringing…” He tells Bruno.

The ringing ends… and Jack takes a deep breath and waits to hear…
Ann’s stomach rumbled as she opened the refrigerator door and looked in. Perhaps a sub sandwich would hit the spot right about now. She began to gather the things necessary, shaved ham, turkey, baby Swiss cheese, a fresh tomato, and the mayo. Also grabbing the small bag of lettuce, she then began making a rather tasty and big sub. Cutting the soft French bread, [if anyone is getting hungry at this point, you can bet I am!] she then spread a light amount of mayo on the inner parts of the bread. Opening the bags of the shaved meats, she then generously placed several slices along one side of the bread. Taking and then cutting up the tomato, she added it.

She couldn’t help but to eat on one of the slices of the tomato as fresh-cut tomato was a personal favorite. She then got the bag of lettuce and opened it and generously added the shreds and then the sliced cheese. The sub was finally made as she then put away the things and got out the pitcher of ice tea. Ann was the type that was watchful of her diet and even with something like this she made certain it wasn’t over done.

Just about the time she took a bite, the phone rings. She grumbled as it never seemed to fail. Looking at the caller id to see whom it was she spoke to herself, “That man can smell food even over the phone line!” She mused and picked up the phone, “Hello?” She then waited to hear what he would say at the moment.

Jack’s face brightens as he hears Ann’s voice…but a little voice inside his head, reminds him to not gloat, and above all not seem desperate; although, he gives a perfunctory thumbs up to his dog, Bruno and allows the giddy boyish grin to vanish as he whispers, “Ann…it’s me…Jack.” A long silence follows as he awaits her response, but then he begins to chide and babble. “You know it has been weeks since we talked… and I was thinking of you.” He grimaces and covers the receiver of the phone as it dawns on him just how desperate does she think I am?

”What I mean is…well is everything with you alright?” Again, a slight fear she might mistake his concern with wheedling. Then he adds, “Did you get my note?” And, the silence persists.
A light audible groan leaves her throat as she hears Jack’s voice for the first time weeks. Upon his inquiry of the note she replied, “Patience was never one of your virtues was it Jack?” She then took another bite of her sandwich just so he’d know she was taking to the food over him at the moment. She had her ways of telling him off, though it be subtle and light but the points always were made in the way they came across.

Taking a drink of her tea she pondered his next question of how she had been. “Of course I am well, you haven’t seen an obituary on me have you? I don’t suppose you’ve got yourself into trouble again? I can tell by your voice something is on your mind.” She then took another bite of her food, this time making certain again it was obvious her mind was elsewhere. -smirk-

Trouble? The word clicks heavily in his mind as he considers the connotation or the effort behind her continuous indifference; the audacity he reminds himself of that of a woman hell-bent on the destruction of a man’s natural inclination~ that of marriage. “No.” He meekly replies into the receiver of the phone. “No trouble here.” His voice remains calm, despite his palpitating heart, realizing one fatal flaw, one slight nuance of being insensible or the least uninterested in the dalliance that females so fondly refer to as emotional talk and he’ll simply hear the whine of the dial tone.

”Actually, I missed your voice…” Any voice for that matter; as even his closest friends believed he was a fool for not giving into the wiles set in question by Ann; but he won’t divulge that to Ann. “Could I trouble you to consider having dinner, or even a cup of coffee…Ann, the phone is no place for such a conversation…” Jack appeals to her good senses, and longs to gaze into her eyes; but again he won’t tell her that. “I think if we just talked.” His voice is soft, sensitive, and often hushed as he pines and doubts her agreement with the idea. “Hmmm…”
Ann was quite surprised that for just a moment Jack was actually showing the decent side of himself that she liked. Perhaps this time away from each other served its purpose. However, she still wasn’t going to be an easy prize as much as he would have liked her to be. Too many times did she fall for his charms and even more so, the voice. And yet even though he refused to marry her, he was still drawn back to her like a moth to the flame. Taking another few bites of her sandwich as she made him wonder just a bit longer, she then took a long sip of her tea.

The silence on the phone was near deafening as she listened to the sound of his breathing for a short while. Her mind pulled and tugged and both yes and no to his question of dinner and yet even she had to admit she missed him these past few weeks. After a few more moments of silence she finally spoke up. “Eight o’clock sharp, you dressed in your finest and I fully expect you to take care of the tab, the last few times I’ve had to foot the bill. If you aren’t here, then it’s over Jack, and I mean that. If you can’t even commit to a time, then why should I?” She then waited to hear his reply.
Eight O’clock…finest garb…tab…, the words tumble and echo in his mind as a grin permeates his drawn features. A surprised tone quality in his voice escapes in the yelp of the first word, “Ann!” Jack covers quickly as he subdues the response and promises her he’ll be there on time. His mind races though to the back of his closet; as he considers the last time he wore his Yves Saint Lauren tuxedo. Was it pressed, dry cleaned or still in the heap where most of his clothes lay. He was certain it was the latter of places. “I’ll be there!” He tells her sotto voce and clicks his tongue in quiet triumph of having made the step, and perhaps rung the bell.

Glancing at his watch, he realizes he has less than four hours to meet her demands, a heavy sigh threatens the mood he knows he captivates her with, and so he slides the phone away from his mouth. “Ann, I’m not sure on the tux…I mean, it might not even be clean.” He waffles, whines and desperately holds back the muffled whimpering.

”You recall when we last went to the ballet, correct? Did you have it cleaned?” Now, Jack throws all the irresponsibility in his being back onto Ann; he does this to save face, but truly if she…if she really…truly understood the predicament…”Ann?” He whispers into the silence of the receiver.
If only Jack could see her roll her eyes at this point she probably would have even hung up the phone at that moment. “What do you take me for Jack? I’m not lazy like you have been. Of course the tux was cleaned, along with that velvet emerald green dress you like seeing me in.” She then set the phone down for a few moments on the counter, needing to simply vent her anger without him hearing her.

Speaking to herself and unwittingly not realizing he could still hear her, “Why do I even bother some days? He couldn’t be responsible for himself if he were paid. Damn I could use a shot of anything now. I’m not even a mother yet here I am raising Jack Tanner.” After a few moments of pacing she then picked up the phone again.

“Eight o’clock Jack. It would be like if this were a job or something. You aren’t on time, you lose out and even get fired. And for once show me that you have responsibility. Is it that much to ask?”
Unperturbed at the reaction or the loud clank as she sets her phone on the counter; although, he does flinch slightly from the receiver. In the background he can hear her rummaging in the room and speaking to herself in a loud way; and expounding on the whys, the how comes in relation to him…. He rolls his eyes as well, and allows the passing déjà vu sensation of feeling as much the proverbial puppy who shit the rug; and as if acknowledging a cousin, Bruno gazes admiringly at Jack. Jack returns the dog’s gaze with a scowl and a smirk. “You would agree with her!” He admonishes his dog. “Ann!” He cries into the phone and realizing she isn’t hearing him, anyway.

Ann’s voice once again is loud and clear in the receiver and Jack sighs in relief as she reminds him of his duty to this date, and also the hint of what is at stake. Jack grins widely at the mention of a job, while his mind is occupied on the implication and metaphor in that phrase, and not so much the literal intent. “I’ll be on time!” He assures Ann in a voice now registering confidence. “I would never have assumed anything…” Jack mutters in resignation to Ann’s demand and the issue of responsibility; as his mind is now completely distracted at the moment as he considers the opportunity of the night…or that which is to come.
“See you then at eight o’clock sharp. Five minutes late and the only knocking you’ll hear will be your hand against the door.” Ann didn’t waste any time hanging up the phone as she knew Jack would keep stalling on time. They would have plenty of time to talk later. Looking over to the nearby clock, she then went upstairs to start getting ready herself. Reaching for the water turn styles in the shower, she got the hot water going as the steam began to fill the room in a very soothing way.

Once she was done with a rather relaxing shower, she had her hair up in a white towel and another large towel wrapped around herself. Looking through her closet, she found the velvet emerald green dress that jack was very fond of and took it out. It was knee-length with spaghetti straps and a very low-cut front. She then got to fixing up her hair and makeup and later got dressed. The six-inch pump heels with the ties that went up her shins in criss cross patterns finished the look. Looking for her diamond earring and necklace, she began to fasten into place as she headed downstairs to wait for Jack. Hoping this time he would keep his word.
Jack found the tux cleaned and pressed in the closet. He eyed it with some in trepidation as he recalled the last time he’d worn it. The dinner party had been for a colleague, but all the women had embarked on the delusion of how dashing a groom, Jack would make. Ann had found the idea hilariously funny and provocative; but, their mood had been broken once home~ once she was made aware that he had found it nauseating. He had slept alone, forgotten and quite frustrated. ‘If only you would make an honest woman of Ann’, Ramsden, the illustrious purist had pontificated; and Ann had gravitated toward the conjecture that Ram Rod had some sort of pull with him…pffft Jack scowls at the memory and wonders if Ann has any idea how many women Ramsden has left crying on a Saturday night; and he means that quite literally…ALL, in the same night… Alas, Ramsden gives one the impression of piety, when he is but a devil in cupid’s diaper.

The shower stream is hot and heady as Jack ducks under and the water more than cleanses away the grime, but also, the stressors he has accumulated since making the decision to call Ann. He meticulously runs the waterproof electric shaver over his face, careful to remove all trace of the growth of the last 2 days, until he has to agree his face is as soft as a newborn’s butt. He allows extra minutes under the steam and jetting water to get the kinks out of the shoulders and lower back, as he once again finds himself wondering about tonight’s meeting…date. Is it a date… Jack wonders, I’ve known Ann so long now, that dating seems surreal…and, if she only realized the effort I DO put into the relationship, and that no amount of civil court room brigade and posturing down an aisle would change that… Jack sighs. He reaches out of the shower stall to grab the towel awaiting the opportunity to dry with. First, smelling the soft fabric, as he always does, expecting the light fresh spring scent and finding none. “Dammit, the fucking maid service didn’t soften the towels…” He mutters to himself and dries off with it, anyway. His thoughts immediately return to Ann out of despair and dependence. They would never make such a mistake, had Ann been here. He assures himself, as he tosses the towel in the hamper and pulls the lid down with an aggravated huff. He notes the time and hurries buck naked through the hallway to his bedroom.

Again, he eyes the tux and decides that his navy suit will suffice, yellow shirt and cuff links that Ann gave him on his last birthday are the ticket. He is certain that picking out a suitable tie will cause him to lose track of time and he absently reaches toward the tie rack on the back wall of the closet and chooses blindly. Lo and behold, he chooses wisely and his gaze settles upon the tie Ann gave him last Christmas. A beautiful Garcia tie and one he found absolutely charming. He touches it with affection, and allows his fingers to linger and enjoy the sensation; he eyes, the beauty of the tie; and stuffs it in his pocket. “She’ll have to help me with the knot.” He mutters as he splashes cologne on and over his shoulder; then carefully pouring the matching aftershave lotion he runs the slippery liquid over his face, and peers at one side; then the other as he checks for stray whiskers. Rubbing the back of his hands against his jowls, he’s certain he has missed any rough areas and that close nuzzling with Ann, won’t cause her to shy from him.

Checking the clock as he hurries to the garage to where the Lexus awaits, he is certain the 40 minutes he has to spare won’t be an issue; as he has to pick up the flowers and barring traffic problems, he is certain he’ll arrive on time.

The florist dawdles as Jack stands waiting for the ordered posies he’s chosen to grace Ann with. His charming smile begins to fade as the florist begins the steady questioning of his plans with the flowers. Jack plops his credit card on the counter and gazes at the inept florist who seem ‘hell-bent’ upon making him late for this much-anticipated retreat and reprieve in the conflict he has going with Ann. “Just wrap the roses up, and let me get onto my date!” Jack utters with a hiss. “My plans are to get laid…isn’t that why most men give red roses to their women-folk?!” Jack drawls in a feigned hillbilly tone and raises an eyebrow at the nearly eighty year old woman behind the counter. “I’m about to be late; and if I know Ann, she means to throw a force-field up that Darth Vader’s Death Star couldn’t move…so move it, will ya lady!” The florist appears insulted; and moves even slower than Jack believes an octogenarian capable, and much to his chagrin. He then grabs the flower paper, wraps the roses himself and retrieves his credit card, angrily and hastily. “Tell Eddie to put it on my account…it’s Jack Tanner!” He turns and strides from the florist shop in a tizzy, mumbling as he goes.

Back in the Lexus, he notes the time; 7:51pm, and the drive to Ann’s will take him approximately ten minutes, barring that all life as currently known and able to operate a motor vehicle has been wiped from the earth, except him. His heart sinks…

The drive to Ann’s is marred by the unmistakable angst and fury written on Jack’s face, as he pulls into her drive, and senses the panic and doom…he wastes no time jumping from his vehicle and nearly forgetting to place the car in Park…he presses the door bell and waits…the sinking feeling rages in his gut, all trace of moisture is removed from his mouth and throat; and he clenches the roses as though they were the florists neck.
Ann’s mind began to wonder as she waited for the evening to get underway. She thought back to when she first met Jack and how right away her father had it set in his mind that she would be married to him. Ann was the type that wanted to experience life for a bit before just up and settling down. But yet at the same time, she wanted to make certain her father wouldn’t disown her and that she would always be on his good side. It wasn’t like she was purposely trying to pin Jack down, just for the sake of the argument. They both had their moments with each other and it seemed more so lately that they couldn’t agree on the simple thing as just a wedding ceremony.

Even though when Ann was with Jack, she couldn’t shake the feeling of how things always felt ‘right’ with him. Even with his quirks and irritations. With each passing day she grew fonder of him but at the same time she didn’t want to just be an easy catch. Jack Tanner was the kind of man who had everything, and could get anything he ever wanted at a drop of a hat. Just due to his wealthy status and in how he often ‘made it known’ in town to people. Ann had it set in her mind that she wasn’t going to be just another trophy to Jack.

Speaking of trophies, she had to wonder about his many women that he often sought out. Had she not been enough for him? This often crossed her mind as to the reason he wouldn’t take the further step of commitment to her. Looking into a nearby mirror she noted how thin she had become over the weeks since they parted as she often kept busy to keep her mind off of missing him. She wondered if he truly knew how it affected her when she would hear about him ‘living it up’ on the town with some diva that seemed to have more than she did.

There still was time left before Jack’s arrival and she decided on something different so it wouldn’t show her slim figure so readily. Going through her closet she came across the wedding gown she had chosen a long while back. Taking it out for just a bit, her eyes glanced over the Victorian lace and the jewels that adorned the fabric. For a few moments it seemed like time itself had shifted as she were standing at the altar finally with Jack. Everything had been set perfectly and they were showing off as one of the most extravagant weddings of the town. This was one thing she wouldn’t deny him, the publicity of it all.

Her thoughts soon came back to reality as she put away the gown and tucked it neatly back into the sleeve it was held in. Just next to it was silk red dress that had many fond memories of nights out on the town with Jack. Slipping out of the green dress she was in, the fabric of the red one soon glided over her toned skin. It brought out her tan nicely as she tied back the straps around her neck and fastened a glittering broach just at the nape of the low-cut front.

Deciding on getting out her garnet necklace, she the clasped it as its length barely teased the parted place upon her chest in a provocative way. “There, that should it. The other diva’s don’t seem to show any shame in what they wear, why should I?” Ann spoke aloud to herself just as the sound of Jack’s arrival made her scurry to finish up. Looking over at the time she shook her head, “Late as usual.” But it didn’t matter this time. Ann was going to give him a reason to be speechless, just in how formal she was dressed tonight.

Opening the door as her blue eyes welcomed him, she leaned against the partly opened door and spoke, “Well now, look what the cat drug in. I dare say the offering is quite a tantalizing treat.” The red silk was played by the warm breeze of the night as the fireflies began to twinkle in the nearby bushes.

The air whooshed from his chest as Ann opens her door; and the gaunt fear ripples from his facial expression and is felt by Jack, as his eyes trail from her face to shoulder and travel down her lithe body. He takes a moment to compose himself and steel against the door jamb, too; and all the while his eyes transfixed upon her and the red dress. His eyes now move back to hasten a glance at the red garnet hanging precariously between Omigod he whistles softly through his teeth as the tug of a lecherous grin invades his façade.

”Ann, you are stunning.” He finally manages, while still gawking at her from the doorway, the loosely, ill-wrapped bouquet still clenched firmly in his hand as he pushes it straight away toward her. “These are for you.” He whispers, and then marches headlong past her inside the house, as though her implied threat of earlier has lost its proverbial time limit, since her opening the door implies she is willing, waiting and desirous of his company. Foremost, in his mind is the implication of her earlier suggestion of a job, and a sly grin curls at his lips, as he remembers the subtle tone and quality of that suggestion over the phone line.

Jack heads directly to the small alcove and bar that adorns the sitting room of Ann’s home and pours himself bourbon with trembling quite evident in his hands. “I know I’m late.” He tells her with a perfunctory tone and no intention of apologizing. “But, Greta was at the florist shop, and you know how slow and dull witted she is.” Jack begins to infer that the florist and the gift of flowers is the reason for his delay, and certainly not his own dalliance with overall time management. “Besides, you put a great deal of effort into looking the way…what I mean to say, is you are captivatingly beautiful…stunning even, and we shouldn’t waste that over a trivial matter of a few minutes.” Jack continues to chatter and contain the obnoxious truth; he broke her trust.

Jack takes a long pull on his drink and allows his eyes to once again traverse Ann as she continues to stand only a few feet away. No doubt, she wonders why I haven’t poured her a drink… He muses, selfishly assuming, and glances back to the bottles and glassware and begins to pour, all the while continuing to nervously contain the conversation to himself and his needs. “Ann, I may need your expertise with the tie…” He retorts, absently looking away and continuing to entertain the idea of her requiring a drink as much as he does. “You know how lousy I am with those.” His ulterior motive however, is to bring her close, and within his reach of her. He turns now, drink in hand and bestows the invite. “Here you are…my dear.” A grin of scoundrel proportions forming in his expression.

Ann had noticed right off that Jack had decided on not using the tux, and even so in a way she was glad as she wasn’t formally dressed for such at the moment. Not that what she was wearing wasn’t nice, it would have been miss matched with the tux they both knew about. Time seemed to stand still for a moment as they both stood in the doorway, she watched as Jack eyed her and her own eyes seemingly did the same of him.

Her thoughts were suddenly broken at his compliment and in how the flowers were placed so hurriedly in her hands and with how he just waltzed passed her before she could even reply in return. Finally after a few moments she leaned against the door and asked, “So, what has your ass on fire that you don’t seem to wish to be seen outside for very long?” Of course she knew right away what it was as he headed toward her stocked bar.

Shaking her head a moment, she then walked over to the nearby kitchen to get a vase and some water for the flowers. Arranging them in the vase she brought them back into the main room and set them upon the bar as Jack had actually managed to get her a drink for a change. “I dare say you are finally learning some manners are you not?” Taking the drink she sipped on it for a few moments as he then mentioned his tie. “Thank you for the drink, I am certain we’ll both need more before the evening is done. And I’ll certainly help with the tie. I wonder if one day you may even manage on your own.” She then waited for him to present the tie he chose.

Jack leans akimbo against the small liquor cart and gazes at Ann as she takes the drink; and he feigns innocence and slight insult when she reminds him of his lack of manners, casually rolling his eyes, submissively and taking a long pull on his drink. Jack knows he’s overconfident, showy and that he often allows his eyes to roam too often, and sometimes his hands, but it has been years since he allowed his body to follow the lead of those hands; but he has yet to tell Ann that and he knows she is aware of his dalliances, even though she rarely points out his troublesome trysts.

Lately, he is sure she has become aware of him squiring some young chickadee at the club, and why not it is the only place he could get a decent meal, good bourbon and… not have to fend for himself. He need only walk or wander into the said club and find them waiting. The come hither stare, the beckoning finger of seduction and he is lost…no mesmerized by their insistent praise, adulation and uncertain air of dull-witted, often giggling infatuation with him; but, he’ll take what he can get in the line of company for an evening. His musing stops as she rejoins his query or plea to aid him with the daunting tie.

In subdued impatience, Jack appears surprised, beguiled and sits the drink in his hand down on the cart with a resounding thud, as he flips the chosen tie from his pocket and offers to Ann; and as if a simple windup toy he turns as he steps within her personal zone; and as he does so, allows his shoulder within grazing range~ a sigh is audible as he slumps his shoulders down slightly giving for a better vantage for her to reach ‘round and embrace…place the tie over his head…

The ensuing grin of accomplishment slowly crossing his façade.

Her mind had wondered for a few moments as to what tie Jack had chosen for his attire. Sometimes as it were with Jack, it was much like raising a child, he often mix matched his own socks and would quite make use of his shirts for more than a week. Her nose crinkled up at the very idea of it and she mused at the maid services walking out on him rather than his firing them. Any woman in their right mind would have upon seeing the messes he would leave behind and for someone so wealthy it was quite pathetic really.

As she watched him reach into his pocket she noted that he was wearing the cuff links she had given him and was actually surprised that he would even dare wear them as any jewelry would seem like an engagement promise that often sent him running as if his ass were on fire. She thought back to that Christmas for a moment and remembered it was actually decent for a time and surely he would have remembered the very garnet necklace she was wearing was one he gave her that eve.

She purposely wore it this night in hopes to show that she could be just as attractive as all those others he often sought out that wore costume jewelry and cheap imitations that only sparkled for a time and would lose their luster after the one night stand with Jack. At least her ‘gems’ were real and never lost their luster. That was one thing she couldn’t complain about was that Jack knew how to buy jewelry and wouldn’t get her the cheap stuff.

Her eyes lit up when she saw it was in fact the tie she had got him that same Christmas and she gave him a soft smile. It seemed like they were both thinking back to that night with the small things they each wore this night. Taking the tie from his hand she unrolled it and loosened the fabric and made a ring of the tie. Her fingers knew the tie like the clasp of her necklace and she could often fasten them in the dark without a hitch.

Slipping the tie just over his head, she let it rest for a moment just along his neck line as she then reached for the collar to lift it up, her fingers lightly grazing his skin as she did so. She noted the devilish grin that appeared on his lips and knew he was toying with her, but at the moment it didn’t bother her so much. She then reach for the fabric of the tie and began to tuck it into place along the collar.

Working the longer part into the knot, over and under she kept her attention to it, seemingly and purposely trying to ignore his flirtatious look as she knew their time would soon be spent at home rather than going out if things went ‘further’. Slowly pushing the knot of the tie upward, she then began to tuck the collar of his shirt back down and then settled the tie along the length of his chest. “There now, that should do the trick. I’m happy that you still have this, I figured all the things I had given you were probably stashed away somewhere so other ladies wouldn’t wonder where they come from.” As incredulous as her statement was she knew that keep the heated moment from pressing further into their night’s schedule.

“I most certainly can manage on my own…” Jack reminds her with a subdued sense of smugness as he revels in the sensation of her body so close to his. “On occasion, however, I choose otherwise.” He offers a toying smile and strains his neck back toward her in an effort to catch her eye. “Is that so bad?” He feigns a plying gawp and runs his tongue along the inside of his cheek in a teasing manner. “You like the attention?” He continues and turns away facing out as Ann glides the noose of the tie over his head; and oh so stands serenely and with the trusting nature she won’t strangle him with it. As she comes around him and is now facing him, it is all he can do to keep from touching her, tugging her into an embrace; an embrace that speaks of passion, unending amore’, eternal devotion…, and yet, he resists for two reasons, one he knows the limit to which he will go to possessing her…and the limit in which she will put up with his teasing and toying. His eyes hooded as he pretends to watch her hands, but actually his gaze is resolute upon her face and occasionally following the beckoning of the garnet necklace which lie between… almighty gawd in heaven and in hell…have mercy on my soul, Jack’s conscience snarls and reigns his eyesight back to a righteous place upon her face.

The sensation of her gentle trailing fingers caressing his neck causes a multitude of responses within Jack, but the most apparent is the tight-lipped grin that forms on his expression. The most unapparent is the stifling of a sigh and the cumbersome notion that not going to the club as planned would be a suggestion that Ann would find warranting or at the least agree to. He relaxes as her fingers work along his collar and the tucking adds to the tendency of his mind to run amok with reminiscence of their past dalliances; and this opportunity caused a stirring and a reconciliation of the idea that living without Ann was a remote chance in hell.

The very thought of hell invoked within Jack a consternation of a recurrent dream one in which his seeming very own private demon took pleasure in taunting him every night that he slept drearily alone in his bed chamber. Often he would awaken with the sense he had somehow left that bed…and, that it really wasn’t a dream at all. Oh yes, he believed it very much a nightmare…but on a Freddie Krueger level of nightmares…, and he couldn’t quite put his finger on it, but he sensed at times this demon often lurked in the daylight, too.

Once the tie is adorning his carefully tailored attire for the evening, and the finishing touches bestowed gracefully and Ann declares she is finished, does Jack peer down admiring her handiwork, but his eyes fleetingly take in the vain nature of his own attire and shift clandestinely to hers. As his eyes brighten and meet hers, his hands follow now unrestrained by his reluctant will; the fury of his controlled inclination now lifted~ he grasps her wantonly at the waist and tugs her to him, and his mouth now inches from hers, he whispers, “Thank you, Ann~ and we both know I couldn’t…can’t manage….”

Ann’s stalwart sense of timing and the callous delusion that he steps out on the town with others and that he in all ruthlessness would hide the fact she ever manifested an existence within his humble home, hearth and daresay~ heart stops his reckless abandonment in the moment. His hands pull back quickly, as his shoulders slump sending his arms slack at his sides; and signifying another sensation of slacking and retreating in that sharp indelicate barb of hers.

“Ann!” Jack squawks in defiance and shakes his head at the notion. “I would never part with any article you’ve given me.” Jack is hesitant to entertain or deny the possible dalliances with other women…he knows how that would insult her intelligence, and he inwardly sighs and allows his gaze to lie elsewhere in the room; as his jaw hardens and clenches. “They mean nothing to me…don’t you know that?” He replies in awkward defiance.

Ann watched as Jack literally crumbled before her like a scolded pup that had been caught peeing on the floor even with the nearby newspaper being spread out for his ‘conveniences’. She wasn’t stupid and even with all his trysts and chasing, she knew. Over the years it seemed Jack always wanted his cake and eat it too. It was the main thing that always drove her away as it practically disgusted Ann to such a degree knowing he was chasing the ever proverbial skirt ‘just so he could say he had done so.’ It was the very fact that he would still come back to her and expect her to just ‘sweep it under the rug’ without a second thought that insulted her intelligence.

In all the time she had known about the other women he constantly chased, she had to really wonder how one didn’t end up pregnant or try to extort Jack for his wealth. Unless of course if such happened it was done in a hush, hush manner to where not even she caught wind of the event. Surely with the recent firings of the house maids and workers, it would certainly explain a lot in the past few months of Jack’s sudden snap and often rash decisions. Ann hoped to God that if they ever did marry that he wouldn’t just on whim make such decisions that she would later have to clean up the ‘accident’ of the puppy who couldn’t make it outside fast enough.

Simply enough, at least said puppy had a normal reason for its dick to hang free all the time, nature simply built a dog that way. Jack on the other hand often challenged even the basic rules of protocol and if he had the choice in the matter of it all, he probably would have found it suitable to belong to a nudist colony. Ann sighed in relief to herself at the thought and murmured in her own mind that hopefully Jack would never come across such a notion of an idea. -Don’t even think about it Jack, if you dare even mention it, you’ll be lucky to still have your ‘women’ to chase.-

Even so, the passion that happen between she and Jack made her wonder why he would even want another. Ann often matched and sometimes wore out Jack in the bedroom. She never withheld her affections even though at times he seriously pissed her off to the point of swearing him off for the final time. The thoughts of the last time they were ‘together’ trailed through her mind for a few moments. It had been late in the evening and as she arrived into the door, they didn’t even make into the hallway before Jack passionately pinned her up against the wall and took her right there, even with the front door wide open for all the neighbors to see and hear.

Her cheeks grew red for a few moments at the thoughts as she wondered how even more daring he could be. This was the reason for this ‘dinner date’. She was going to test his boundaries and see just how far and willing he would go even in public and with the possibilities of his ‘women’ watching in the background. If anything she was going to show them just how to treat ‘her Jack Tanner’. Yes, in her mind Jack was hers and she remained faithful even in their times of separation.

Despite even Jack’s slouching and acting like a wounded dog, Ann decided that she would show him something. A light promise of what would happen if the night continued its course and he ‘played his cards right’. As Jack looked off, Ann reached for his jaw with her soft hand and turned his handsome face to her own. Gazing into his hazel eyes for the longest time as if trying to read his mind, what she did next would most likely shock him back into reality.

Leaning forward without even saying a word, she captured his lips with her own, at first the kiss being soft and teasing. She then suckled upon his bottom lip with a light nibble, a ‘hint’ as it were at what she could do much later on with said sucking. She then delved further into the kiss, her hot wet tongue searching for his as she trailed her own just under the soft fleshy part of his, letting out a soft teasing moan. As their breaths mingled for a time, she drew him close, pressing her firm breasts up against his chest.

The kiss was one done in such a manner as to remind him who the only one he needed to chase was ‘her’. She had her reasons for doing things the way she did and she wondered if he would ‘catch on’ like a flame would catch to make a roaring fire. After a few moments she pulled back and simply awaited his reaction. Her arms draped over his shoulders as she was still ever so pressed against him.

…it’s not totally my own doing… The lingering thought occurs to Jack, but forever seems to echo in his mind as he stares woefully at the woman he professes in his heart, soul and every opportunity to debate with either Bruno, Roebuck or Tavy~I do love her… And, usually the debate with either Bruno or Tavy is one-sided or a draw, concluding that they simply nod off with the same nonchalance of the idea.

In Jack’s mind and recalling most of the scenario’s he is rarely, if ever the aggressor. In fact, the whole scenario is usually someone who professes only to be interested in his literary work and writing, but suddenly there is a spark and lo and behold, …how did we end up here? The irony of it all boggles the imagination and Jack is often left with the surreal, yet blissful guilt; and he finds he’s still very much alone. Waking up in a veritable strange woman’s bed after a night of debauchery is hardly a love connection, and he has a difficult time understanding why Ann never realizes they simply do not matter… or at least in the manner in which she matters to him.

Regardless, he stands before her guilt laden and dismayed and fearful that now he’s done it again; and she will send him packing. All the effort of coming here, kaput, and again he’ll wearily trudge to the club, and spend an eternal flowering of boredom discussing with Roebuck why he should give up the idea of remaining a bachelor and expecting that Ann would give up the marriage quest to live in the shadow of his future trysts. “I never fall from your grace when you are with me…” He whispers, softly and without looking up from the floor. “Don’t you understand?”

What happens next, completely grasps Jack by his harrowing senses and the kindling and spark materializes in his mind, very much like that of a stick match struck against a concrete wall. Ann’s hand against his cheek, then her arms roam…or crawl against his shoulder; and then the tug of her pulling him firmly against her. Her breasts say Hello! as they press against his chest, and his heartbeat skips and then stabilizes into a hefty gallop against his rib cage. Her mouth presses firmly to his and within a moment the tender sucking on his lip is a catalyst between chivalry and…

Jack stares wide-eyed now at Ann, all trace of woe, dismay and infidelity leave the façade as he is now speechless, mouth agape and bottom lip left quivering for the fortuitous pleasure of hers to once again to delight, impress and tease his. Dinner can wait… resounds in his thoughts, as his appetite for sustenance is swept off the itinerary now and he tenderly wraps his arms around her lithe waist. His nose meets and tickles hers as he is left now grinning like a Cheshire cat as he peers into her azure eyes. Memories of moments like these, seem to furl, unfurl and flow in Jack’s mind as he simply takes pleasure in the level of closeness with Ann. Although, only a few moments, he continues to hold her in his arms and while the suggestion of detouring from their original dinner date looms and mounts in his psyche~ he realizes what has been amiss for those months that proceeded their last break up.

He breaks from her embrace easily and although with reluctant sighing…time will tell, and that time is later in the evening he is sure. Tonight is her night, she set the plan in motion with her demand… he reminds himself, and whispers, “Ann, we better go…before we end up not going at all…” A hesitant, coy and very boyish grin settles on his face as he smirks at her. His smirk is not one of attempting to smite or make fun of her attempt to lure him; but is his way of indicating he understands the invite…the promise of what is yet to come. More importantly, he assumes she knows he’s accepted the challenge.


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