Too Perfect Marriage – Part 8 – FINALE!

club

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Calvin’s heart raced. “So Shea is-”

“Dead,” said Brody, before taking a peek at his Rolex. “Right about… now.” He laughed in his face, blood sputtering from his lips.

“No,” said Calvin. He shook his head, reached into Brody’s jacket, then yanked out the gun. “No!” He stood up and stormed into the club.

It was like swimming through Miley Cyrus’ earhole – Strobe lights bashed the swerving bodies with split-second flashes of blue and red. Bass blasted like bombs were exploding in the speakers. Sweaty bodies, sequin gowns, cocktails in the air.

Calvin’s legs felt like jelly. The sweet ingredients of love that had been swirling in his gut earlier had been poisoned with fear, worry, and knowledge -knowledge that Bridgette had no intention of killing him. Her target was Shea, the woman whose existence sparked Calvin’s future but burned Bridgette’s to ash.

He tucked the handgun into his waistband. As he strolled through he kept his eyes trained for a blonde woman in a red dress. Luckily for him, both women matched that description. Two women in red party dresses sat talking at the bar. One had her hand behind her back, and appeared to be holding something.

Too many dancers blocked Calvin’s line of sight – impossible to get a clear view of her face.

“Move!” he said.

He pushed a few drinkers out of the way, then cracked his knuckles as he motored through the crowd. Brody had said Shea was already dead, but Calvin refused to believe that. He wasn’t too late – he could feel it in his soul.

Calvin’s breath drew heavy as he closed in on the bar. He reached back into his waistband and swiped out the handgun. He hid the barrel up his white sleeve, and concealed the bulky handle with his fist.

Someone popped out at him – an adorable brunette.

“You’re cute,” she said.

“Watch out,” said Calvin.

The two blondes at the bar were facing the counter, backs to him. The one holding something extended her other arm and hugged the blonde beside her into her chest. She raised her other hand like she were going for the girl’s neck.

“Don’t be rude!” said the brunette.

Bridgette was going to slit Shea’s neck.

“Shea, no!” Shouted Calvin.

He jolted forward and took aim. The brunette tripped into his line of fire-

The two girls he had yelled at swiveled around, gazed at him, and blinked like owls. Calvin lowered his gun when he noticed the girl’s hand – she was holding a crumpled napkin, probably with some guys number on it.

Calvin shook his head and tore around. Where were they?

Every clock-hand tick meant Bridgette was closer to killing Shea.

Calvin’s eyes dotted around the packed house again. A few blondes, some red-dresses, but none of them Bridgette nor Shea. Calvin had to strike more than he needed to think. They wouldn’t have left the club, the plan was to kill Shea inside. But where?

Upstairs! Like finding keys in a front jean’s pocket, the obvious location struck Calvin in the forehead. Before he’d gone outside with Shea, he’d spotted Bridgette and Brody hovering over the top balcony. If there were any private place to kill someone in a club, it was the VIP room, and Brody had reserved it.

Calvin rushed through the dancers again.

“Move!” he said.

He plowed through. A guy hitting on a girl blocked his path.

Calvin shoved them to the ground, raced forward to the stairs, then sprinted up the flight. He breathlessly broke through Brody’s party guests’ circle. They quit drinking and mingling.

“Where is she?” Calvin said. “Where is she!”

“Who?”

“Shea!”

The guests dismissed Calvin by rolling their eyes and returning to their conversations.

Calvin flipped around. The VIP room in the back wasn’t entirely blocked – a curtain of jewelry beads hid it from view. He could make out moving bodies on the couch inside it.

Calvin rushed inside, smacking away the beads with his gun drawn.

A girl in a black skirt was riding some guy on the couch. She jumped off, and the guy held his hands up.

“Never told me dude! I swear!”

Calvin circled around, gun at his side. The freaked-out couple were panting and staring at him like he were a twisted serial killer. Calvin could care less about how he looked – he needed to save Shea, and too much time had already passed.

“She didn’t say she had a dude!” said the guy.

“I don’t,” said the girl.

Calvin paced with one hand scratching the back of his head, the other holding the gun.

“Oh, well.. It’s a private room, so uhh…”

“Use a goddamn stall then!” said Calvin. He stopped pacing. “Oh my God.”

Calvin bolted out the VIP room and flew down the stairs. He caught a pair of familiar eyes glaring at him during his descent.

They belonged to Big Fella, who seconds later fired a barrage of bullets into the ceiling. DJ killed the music, and panicked yells shook the dance floor as frightened patrons fled to the exit.

Calvin hauled ass over to the bathrooms, running against the tide of club-goers who were gushing out in the opposite direction. He stole a glance over his shoulder – Big Fella was chasing him, gaining ground every stride.

“Move!” Calvin said to people blocking his path.

Calvin pushed his way through, and reached the women’s restroom – door was locked.

“Stop!” He screamed, then kicked it. “Shea! Shea, are you alright!”

The door wouldn’t budge. Calvin loaded the gun, then fired a shot into the bolt. It broke off. Calvin stomped the door – something still jammed it shut from the inside.

Calvin rotated his body then charged, shoulder first. He made some headway, but only a crack. He could hear their voices – Shea and Bridgette were shouting in a heated argument.

“Help Calvin!” said Shea. “Hurry!”

“Trying to!” said Calvin. He backed away, then charged again – he banged it open enough to barely slide his arm through. Calvin hurried back one more time. He sprinted forward, turned to crash, then caught sight of Big Fella, holding his glock.

Big Fella fired but missed.

Calvin busted through and fell on the tiles of the women’s restroom.

“Let her go!” screamed Calvin.

The two blondes fought near the far wall, backs to Calvin. They were nowhere close to the mirror, and both had red dresses and blonde hair. The one closest to the wall was on her knees, struggling to escape the neck-brace of the women behind her. Calvin couldn’t tell who was who.

“It’s finished god-dammit! Get off her!”

The woman standing up raised a knife. She was on the verge of slitting the other girl’s throat. Somebody kicked the bathroom door open – Big Fella.

“Duck Shea!” said Calvin.

He pulled the trigger, and fired a bullet straight into the back of the woman with the knife.

“Oh… shit,” said Big Fella, stopping behind him.

The blonde women with the knife crumbled to the tile. She dropped the girl she’d been choking, and the knife fell from her loosened grip. It was Shea, and she lie on the floor, clutching her bleeding heart.

“No,” said Calvin. “God… no. There’s no way…”

Bridgette stood up, coughed to clear her throat, then fanned herself.

“Curious, didn’t you realize we wore the same dress and I didn’t say anything? You should have known we needed to get rid of both of you to be married. Now you’ll be in jail, and she’ll be a corpse.”

“How… no. This isn’t happening.” said Calvin.

“It is, sorry bae.” Bridgette rubbed his cheek, kissed him by the temple, then left the restroom, as did Big Fella.

Calvin walked forward like he were knee-deep in mud. “Get up,” he said. “Get up and be okay.”

The club music was off – looping police sirens took its place.

Calvin reached Shea. Blood poured out from her chest wound – the bullet went straight through her. Her eyes turned up as she gasped for air.

“Cal.. Calvin?” she said.

He slid down against the back wall, then tugged her onto his lap by her armpits.

“It doesn’t end like this,” he said. “No, no. It can’t.”

“Sorry…”

“Don’t be!” he said. “It’s my fault!”

She coughed, then smirked. Tears welled up in Calvin’s eyes. He clenched the knife handle, then leaned forward and kissed her forehead. “Don’t die.”

“Don’t… leave.”

Police barged in.

“Put the knife down!” One shouted. “Put the knife down!”

“Please,” she said.

Calvin sniffed. “I won’t.”

“…forever.”

“Get on the ground! Now!”

“Forever.” Calvin pressed his lips into hers, then plunged the blade into her neck.

Police fired away until both were riddled with holes. They died in each others arms, lips joined together.

  • * *

Brody and Bridgette did a series of joint interviews following the tragedy that made national headlines. Security footage proved Calvin slugged Brody across the face then robbed the him of the gun he used to murder Brody’s wife.

Choked up with tears, Brody spoke about how blissful life could have been had he only won that fight, and interviewees and the American audience sympathized with his loss. Bridgette invited the public to share with her as she grieved, and many understood how disturbed she felt to discover her husband had kissed the women shortly before ruthlessly murdering her.

When Bridgette and Brody tied the knot, wedding gifts poured in from around the globe, and business boomed for Brody’s car dealership. They accumulated widespread fame from their against-the-odds love that blossomed into marriage, which proved to so many that not even a destructive mad-man could permanently destroy the lives of blessed good people for long.

The sudden influx of funds from Shea’s family fortune certainly helped Brody’s chain of dealerships thrive, but Brody always insisted he’d trade the tens of millions he’d inherited from Shea for even a day of her descension back to earth, even if it only meant holding her in his arms one more time.

When asked about the century old knife Calvin had used to carve into Shea, Brody informed viewers that the knife had belonged to her great, great, great, great grandfather, who had used it to peal a grapefruit he gave to a girl that became his future wife. They began the billion-dollar company together, and the knife had been passed down from generation to generation. Brody added, with tremendous difficulty, that Shea and he had always hoped to have children, and the knife would have gone to their firstborn. Because Calvin slaughtered her to soon, Shea died as the last surviving member of her incredible family.

*On a curious note, the shooter and his victim were buried in the same graveyard, despite specific orders and a never-ending outcry from the public. Shea and Calvin’s gravestones were placed side-by-side, in a remote area under some sycamore trees. The graveyard director position became a revolving door, and each new person hired for the job resigned within their first week, swearing “Forces beyond their control” prevented Calvin and Shea’s gravestones from ever being separated.

The End.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Hope you’ve enjoyed the series! Check in tomorrow for the official cover release for Master, my novel about a former football star’s quest to save his family from the deranged psychiatrist who infiltrates his dreams.

Too Perfect Marriage – Part 7

club

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

“What’s your wife doin’?” said the driver.

“That’s not my…” Calvin shook his head. “I don’t know. She’ll be right back, though.”

“You better hope so, fair’s runnin.”

“She’ll be here in a sec, said she would.”

Calvin listened to “Bittersweet Symphony” on his Ipod again, and couldn’t stop replaying the kiss in his head. It’d been so long since the sweet ingredients of love had churned in his gut and been devoured by his heart. Marrying Bridgette was a blemish he’d been trying to paint around, but now that he was certain she was cheating and actively looking to kill him, brushing on a fresh canvas didn’t seem like such a condemn-able idea.

“Give her a call, buddy,” said the driver.

Calvin smeared his forehead. “Don’t know her phone number, believe it or not.”

“Ah, I see. Damn shame, thought you two looked good together. Good times end so fast.”

“You misunderstood. We’re gonna be together for the long run. Trust me.”

The driver adjusted his rear view mirror to catch a glance of Calvin, then sighed and turned away.

Calvin scoffed and shook his head. He tapped his fingers on his knee, then ripped the earbuds out and stuffed the Ipod back into his pocket. He checked the time – five minutes since she’d left. He ran a hand threw his hair, then fluttered his lips with an exhale and crossed his arms.

“Go in there and get her. Doin’ nothing for nobody, just waitin’ here,” said the driver.

“Be patient.”

“Huh?”

Calvin groaned, then whipped out a wad of bills from his pocket. He swatted them in the driver’s hand. “Here,” he said, then stepped out.

He paced toward the club with his head on a swivel. Shea said she’d be right back, but the fact that she hadn’t returned wasn’t a huge call for alarm – chances were, she had some choice words before parting ways with Brody and leaving his dirty dick for good.

Still, Calvin felt uneasy – he was convinced Bridgette and Brody were conspiring to kill him. He could afford to look for Shea, as long as he remained surrounded by others – narcissists murdered, but weren’t the type to ruin their reputations and risk prison time.

Calvin passed by people exiting the club, then made his way through the smokers near the back entrance. He tore the door open and came face to face with Brody.

“H-h-hey, Calvin! I was just looking for you.”

Calvin dropped back a step.

Brody proceeded forward, then swung his arm around Calvin and tugged him away from the club and toward an empty alleyway. “Your wife tells me you’re quite the guitar player-”

“Eat a dick,” said Calvin, throwing Brody’s arm from his shoulders. He turned around. Brody jumped in front of him.

“Easy, guy! … what’s with the constant hard-on for me?”

“Returning yours from my wife.”

The smokers outside raised their eyebrows and moved a little closer.

“What? Nooo,” said Brody. “What kind of monster you think-”

“Kind of monster who kills. I know about the gun.”

“What gun?” said Brody, with a chuckle. “Oh, you mean this?” He reached inside the flap of his jacket, withdrew a handgun, then casually pointed it at Calvin. “I like guns, so what.”

“Put that shit away,” Calvin said.

“Easy guy! you really think I would shoot you?”

“Thought Bridgette might cheat with a douche-bag, was right about that.”

Brody smiled. The smokers watched eagerly.

“This attitude of yours is very disheartening,” said Brody.

“I’m leaving with Shea.”

Brody quit smiling. “What?”

“That’s right. You can have Bridgette, she’s all yours. I want Shea.”

Brody scratched his temple and lowered an eyebrow. “But… why?”

“Because when you acted like a pompous ass in the limo she told me to ignore you, and that’s goddamn refreshing after being told ‘stop being an idiot’ for so fucking long. Because when I got my ass kicked by some clown inside she cared more about me being alright than how stupid she looked being the wife of a loser. Because when I say it’s a perfect moment, she makes it better.”

“But Bridgette’s a ten, and they’re both blonde, so…”

Calvin scoffed. “You’re a joke. Get out of my way,” he said, trying to move past.

Brody grabbed him by the arm, then yanked him close and jammed the gun barrel into his abdomen.

Calvin glared at him. “I’m not as funny as you think,” said Brody.

“Move the gun.”

“I’ll start with the trigger.”

Calvin forced his words through gritted teeth. “What kind of idiot kills in public? Look around, we’re surrounded. They’ve got cameras recording this.”

Brody didn’t flinch.

“Why kill me?” Said Calvin. “Take Bridgette, she’s all yours. Let me and Shea walk.”

“Nobody’s trying to kill you,” said Brody.

“Ditch the gun,” said Calvin.

“Problem’s Shea.”

“You don’t give a shit, you don’t even love her.”

“Not that simple.”

“We’ll see, guy,” said Calvin. He shoved Brody then hurried toward the backdoor.

“H-h-hey, buddy!” yelled Brody. “Think you’ve had a few too many!”

Calvin reached for the door, ripped it open, then lost his feet out from under him. Brody had tackled his lower half. The door fell closed, and Calvin found himself wrestling on the pavement.

“You’re not getting back at that guy in there!” said Brody. “Already caused a scene, now you’re embarrassing both of us!”

The onlookers didn’t intervene. Calvin struggled to peel himself free from Brody, who wouldn’t stop yelling.

“I won’t let you fight him! I can’t, you’re not in your right mind!”

Calvin managed to climb on top of Brody, then swallowed up Brody’s face with his palm. “Shut the fuck up!”

“You’re drunk!” said Brody. “Get off me, you’re drunk!”

Calvin reared back then slugged Brody across the face. Blood fired out from his mouth.

“Money don’t buy fists,” Calvin said, then tried to push himself up.

Brody grabbed Calvin’s white button down, then ripped him close and hissed into his ear.

“I’m not the breadwinner bitch.”

“What?”

“Shea’s loaded. Family inheritance.”

Calvin shook his head. “You’re talking out your ass-”

“Nothing to gain by killing you.”

Calvin’s heart raced. “So Shea is-”

“Dead,” said Brody, before taking a peek at his rolex. “Right about… now.” He laughed in his face, blood sputtering from his lips.

“No,” said Calvin. He shook his head, reached into Brody’s jacket, then yanked out the gun. “No!” He stood up and stormed into the club.

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 8 – FINALE!

Master and Too Perfect Marriage Update – 10/10

PART_1441565706467_20150816_135846

I know many of you are looking forward to the next part of Too Perfect Marriage. I’ll get to that in a moment.

The cover to Master is in! I can’t wait to show it to you, Ellie Augsburger did an incredible job. I’ve finished Master, and currently am going through and solidifying things. It’s crucial to hammer out the plot in the first few drafts, but a side-effect of focusing on plot is the dialogue becomes interchangeable. Every word that exits a character’s mouth should be specific to their unique personality. A lot goes into a single line – plot, characterization, emotion, and intrigue, just to name a few. When I say intrigue, I mean that their are lines of dialogue that spark interest even without full awareness of the context.

Along with editing Master and blogging short stories, I’m also a full-time student at a local cc. So many hours spent on the computer can take a toll on you mentally – it’s important to use your body. Earlier this week I felt like I could read the same question from a homework assignment 15 times over and still not understand what it was asking.

I plan to transition from writing mode to promotion mode next week. Don’t worry, I’m not just going to fire out constant updates for Master. I’m inclined to post half-a-page of my book a day up until I publish it. Hopefully, doing this will show you that the book is pretty good, and maybe when I release it you’ll be curious enough to download it (I’m debating whether or not to make it available for free during the first five days of its release).

As for Too Perfect Marriage, I should be wrapping up the series next week. Check back on Monday, I plan on posting part 7 then.

  • Thomas M. Watt

Too Perfect Marriage – Part 6

club

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

“What?”

“The knife,” said Shea. She checked him up and down, then pushed her hand into his chest and walked away.

“Shea wait,” said Calvin. He jogged over to her, then grabbed her shoulder and spun her around. “What knife?”

Shea held her phone in one hand, and covered her eyes with the other. “Yes, hello? I could really use a cab, like right now… at Cherry Bumps, downtown. Ok, thank you so much.” She lowered the phone and gulped.

“Shea?”

“Men are liars,” she said. “All of you!” Her eyelids cracked open and tears leaked out.

“Tell me about the knife,” said Calvin.

“Who cares about the knife! How can you be okay with this? With them!”

“I’m not. But my wife and your husband are trying to kill me-”

“They already killed me.”

“What?”

“What’s wrong with me? Am I so ugly that every guy has to cheat-”

Calvin grabbed her hands. “Stop. You’re gorgeous… plus you know who The Verve is! And, maybe I’m out of line to say this, but I’ve enjoyed talking with you more tonight than… fuck it, any conversation that I’ve ever had with my wife.”

Shea blinked, and her pupils bounced from Calvin’s eyes to his lips.

“What?” he said.

“Nothing.” Shea brushed a blond hair behind her ear. “So… what are you gonna do?”

“Leave, maybe call the cops.”

“Right, because that’s what I meant.” Shea turned around, walked over to the sidewalk, then sat down on the curb.

Calvin hurried over and plopped down beside her.

Shea rubbed her elbows. “Please, don’t offer me your jacket.”

“You want to be alone?”

Shea rocked her head back and let out an exaggerated scoff. “I want a man who won’t cheat. That’s it.”

“I meant me.”

Her head swiveled to him and her eyelids snapped wide open.

“Do you want me, to leave?” said Calvin.

Shea faced the street between her feet and bit into her hand.

“Does that mean yes?” said Calvin.

“If you don’t want to stay, you should go.”

“It doesn’t feel right leaving you.”

Shea smirked.

“What?”

“I’ve enjoyed talking with you, too,” she said.

Calvin grinned.

Shea turned to him, and her words rattled between her teeth. “I called a cab… do you… what about you?” said Shea.

“I’m gonna call the cops. If those two are trying to kill me, they deserve to-”

“You’re an idiot.”

“What? Why?”

“Just don’t offer your jacket,” said Shea.

“You look cold. Take this.”

“I told you I don’t want your-” Shea cut short her protest when she noticed what Calvin held in his hand.

“Wow… you have a sense of humor… too.” Shea ripped the Ipod out from his hand. The song listed was “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve. “Why did you bring an Ipod to a night club?”

“Because I’m a one song kind of guy,” said Calvin.

Shea’s cheeks flushed red. She plugged one of the white earbuds into her ear, raised the second, bit her bottom lip, then handed that earbud to Calvin instead.

He smiled, stuck it in his ear, and they listed to the song together.

“How come you’re not freaking out?” said Shea. “I mean, doesn’t it bother you?”

“It does,” said Calvin. “Just not right now.”

“Why?”

“I don’t know,” He said, then scooted closer. “It should. My wife’s cheating on me, and your husband’s plotting to kill me.”

“So you are freaked out?”

“No,” said Calvin. “Because this moment, right now…”

“…yea?” Shea lost her eyes in his.

“It’s almost perfect.”

Shea bit her lips, then sniffed. “Yeah, I get that.” She laughed. “I mean, obviously it’s not going to be perfect with everything you’re going through. Because of you wife, right?”

“No.”

“Ah, my husband. Maybe if he wasn’t trying to kill you?”

“No. That’s not it..”

Shea folded her arms, shut her mouth and glared down at the pavement. “Oh. I get it. If another girl were here then it would be per-”

Calvin took hold of her jaw and turned her face to his. She shut her eyes and met with his lips, then boomeranged her arm around the back of his neck, tugging him closer and kissing him deeper. They finished kissing, but left their noses squished together.

“Now it’s perfect,” said Calvin.

“So,” Shea said, then gulped. “What now?”

“We leave. Together.”

“For the night?”

“Forever.”

Shea laughed. “That’s…” She quit laughing. “Perfect.”

A yellow cab pulled up and parked by the curb.

Calvin took Shea by the hand, and the two stood.

“What about them? The gun? The murder plot?” said Shea.

“Forget it. They can’t hurt me if I leave.”

Shea’s freckled cheeks lifted from her smile.

“You two ready?” said the cab driver, out the window.

“I’m ready,” said Calvin. “Are you ready?”

“Yea,” said Shea. “I’m ready.”

Calvin opened the door for Shea, whose hands stayed linked together at her waist as she continuously swerved her hips.

“Aren’t you coming?” said Calvin.

“Oh, yeah,” Shea said

“Well… what are you waiting for?”

My moment,” Shea said. “I’m cherishing it.”

“Yo, got a job here guys,” said the cab driver.

“One second,” said Calvin, before returning to Shea. “I’m glad, but we really should get away before your husband tries to kill me.”

Shea laughed, then nodded. She stepped closer, kissed Calvin on the cheek, then giggled as she lowered her head and entered the cab. Calvin came in, shut the door, then held her hand.

“Where to?” said the driver.

They looked to one another. “Anywhere but here,” said Calvin.

“And step on it!” said Shea.

The cab driver shook his head. “You got it folks… hope you ain’t maxed out already.” He started off, and they were on their way.

“Wait!” said Shea.

The driver slammed the brakes.

She turned to Calvin. “The knife!”

“What about it?”

“I have to go back.”

“What? Why?”

Shea reached over him for the handle, shoved the door open, then crawled over his lap, stumbled onto the sidewalk and rushed back toward the nightclub.

“Just wait for me, I’ll be thirty seconds!” She called over her shoulder.

“What’s your wife doin’?” said the driver.

“That’s not my…” Calvin shook his head. “I don’t know. She’ll be right back, though.”

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 7!

Too Perfect Marriage – Part 5

club

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Brody stood behind Bridgette in the VIP section of the dance club. They watched Calvin get pummeled by a big man with a gold chain. Calvin and Shea escaped the club through the back door.

Bridgette spun around, and her lips were inches from Brody.

“So you had to do that?”

“Not a great time for cold feet, Bridgette!”

“Obviously,” she said, then crossed her arms. “But he’s the dad of my kids, it sucks to watch him get hurt… you better not be friends with that thug, animals like that disgusts me.”

Brody smiled and put his hand on Bridgette’s shoulder, then massaged her neck as he spoke. “H-hey, relax B-ridge. People will do anything for a fee, a love for the Benjamin’s is all I have in common with him.”

“Stop pretending, nobody can hear you but me… so why did you have him beat Calvin up?”

Brody released Bridgette, swatted the air with his hand then walked away. Bridgette scurried after him until they sat down on a sofa together.

“Don’t get snappy with me,” she said, then folded her arms.

Brody groaned. “We’ve been over this. They both needed to leave the club.”

“Duh, I know.”

“When Shea comes back in, you better be ready,” he said, then faced her with his brow deep over his eyes.

“They might leave together… I think they know-”

“She won’t.”

“Yeah but-”

“I took care of it,” said Brody. “She’ll be back inside.” He shoved Bridgette in the side with his forearm, forcing her to scoot. He shook his head as he reached for a concealed holster and took a revolver out.

“Hide that thing!” she said. “What if someone sees?”

“Your husband already did, thanks to your stupidity.”

Bridgette folded her arms, then shut her eyes and scratched her forehead. “So… did you bring the knife?”

Brody groaned, then got up from the couch and tapped one of his workers from the dealership on the shoulder. He smiled big. “Hey, having a blast?”

“Yeah, this place rocks!”

“Phenomenal! Hey, be a rock-solid guy and hand me Shea’s purse? Thanks guy.”

“Sure,” said the employee. He grabbed it from the tall table and handed it to Brody.

Brody returned to the sofa, opened the purse, then handed a steak knife to Bridgette. A napkin concealed the blade.

“You know what to do,” said Brody.

Bridgette bit her lips. “Is divorce really so bad?”

Brody curled his fingers into a fist. He glared straight ahead as he spoke through a dark whisper. “We’re a family first company. Divorce would crush my reputation. Marrying a widow, that’s a different story.”

Bridgette gulped.

“Grab Shea when she comes in.” He squeezed Bridgette’s hand. “Do this right, we can stop hiding.”

Bridgette nodded, then leaned in to him with her lips pushed out.

Brody caught her face with his palm, then sniffed. “You said you quit.”

“Calvin made me smoke.”

“You don’t listen to Calvin, you listen to me.” Brody pushed her away, then stood and stuck his finger in her face. “Get Shea.”

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 6!

Too Perfect Marriage – Part 4

club

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

“I had breakfast with Bridgette’s dad this morning.”

Shea quit smiling. Calvin walked around her and pushed through the dancers.

“Calvin, wait!” said Shea.

He split a couple apart and continued on. His eyes darted around the place, but it was hard to identify his wife with the rapid flash of strobe lights. Music pounded through the speakers. Sweaty bodies were everywhere – but where was Bridgette?

Calvin spotted a few of his wife’s work friends. They climbed the stairs. At the front of the pack strode Bridgette and Brody. It looked like they could be holding hands, but other patrons blocked his view.

“Dammit,” he said, standing on his toes.

Someone grabbed Calvin by the wrist.

“Shea, what does that look-”

The moment he whirled around, a fist came flying at his face. Calvin ducked down and narrowly dodged the flying knuckles. It came from a big fella wearing an extra large black shirt, gold chain around his neck.

“What the hell!” said Shea.

Big fella swung again, and socked Calvin in the stomach. Calvin fell back a few steps.

“Stop!” Said Shea.

“Ain’t about you girl,” said big fella.

Calvin lifted his gaze – bouncers were storming over and parting the dancers.

“Look me in the eye you little bitch.” Big fella cracked his knuckles.

“Who are you?” said Calvin.

Big fella grabbed a fistful of Calvin’s shirt.

“Calvin!” said Shea.

Big fella cocked his arm back and delivered another blow into Calvin’s cheek. When he reloaded for another punch, Calvin shot out his arm, grabbed his gold chain, then twisted it until Big Fella began to choke. Big Fella dropped to his knees and dug his fingers between his chain and neck, struggling to breathe.

Big Fella ripped the chain himself, and the pieces landed on the floor.

“You done it,” he said, then stood and slugged Calvin across the face

Calvin landed in a dive on the dance floor, pushing the legs out from those around him. He hurried onto his back, and found Big Fella pouncing to clobber him. Calvin brought his knee into his chest, then kicked Big Fella right in the teeth. Backlash sent big fella bending and twisting over in the opposite direction.

Bouncers tore through the crowd, pointing at Calvin.

Calvin sprung to his feet and grabbed Shea by the hand. He rushed toward the backdoor, using his front wrist to strong-arm through the dancers.

“Why did he attack you?” said Shea.

“You think I know?”

Calvin checked over his shoulder for the bouncers, and got an unexpected glance of Bridgette and Brody. Calvin stopped in his tracks.

Shea ran into him. He turned her around, then held her with his forearm wrapped around her neck.

“What are you-”

Shea followed the point of his finger. Brody leaned over Bridgette from behind the top balcony, with his hands holding the bar in front of her abdomen.

“Oh my God,” said Shea.

The bouncers were making headway through the crowd.

“Let’s go,” said Calvin. He charged toward the back door and yanked Shea along with him. He kicked it open, and the two barged into a crowd of smokers.

“Waddup?” said a smoker.

Calvin noticed the four men encircling him had baggy shirts and chain necklaces.

“Your face looks like pizza got stomped on.” said one of them.”Who you runnin’ from?”

“Nobody. Let me bum one.”

They scoffed. One of them handed him a cigarette.

Calvin lit up, then sucked the black ash into his lungs.

“What just happened?” said Shea. She coughed and looked away.

“You don’t smoke?”

She eyeballed the cigarette. “Not anymore.”

Shea plucked the cigarette from his lips, then jammed it in her own. She treated it like it were a CPR victim, and killed it in no time. Shea coughed, bent over and pressed her hand to her chest.

Calvin pat her on the back and helped her straighten up. “Hey,” he said. “You okay?”

“Am I okay? Don’t you think they’re cheating on us?”

“I don’t know.”

“We’re getting cuckolded… my life’s over.” Shea spun around and reached for the door. Calvin grabbed her by the wrist then tugged her back.

“That guy attacked me for no reason.”

“I know, I’m sorry but-”

“Don’t go in there.”

“My husband’s in there.”

“Bridgette can be sinister. She goes out without me, but something changed her mind tonight. I don’t think it’s love.”

“Calvin-”

“Bridgette brought a gun. Maybe Brody’s got it now. Does your husband know how to use one?”

“Oh my God,” she lifted her head and stared back into his eyes.

“What?”

“The knife,” said Shea. She checked him up and down, then pushed her hand into his chest and walked away.

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 5!

Too Perfect Marriage – Part 3

club

Part 1

Part 2

Brody’s eyes fidgeted between her and Calvin. “…sure.”

He poured Shea a drink, then passed it along. The party guests resumed their former chatter, and the remainder of the ride went smooth, though there were a few subtle bumps. Calvin kept silent.

The ride pulled up to the popular night spot and dropped them off. The party guests hurried out and trotted to the back of the line. Once they settled in, Calvin grabbed Bridgette by the wrist and tugged her close.

“You brought a gun?”

“Huh?”

“I saw it. In your purse.”

“Are you being serious?”

Calvin’s mouth stayed shut.

“You’re starting to piss me off.” Bridgette jerked her arm away, then smiled brightly and returned to her circle of friends.

“Shit,” said Shea, squeezing Calvin’s shoulder.

He watched as she scraped her heel along the ground. It was the first time he noticed she had blonde hair and wore a red party dress, almost identical to his wife’s.

“I stepped in it. I stepped in shit,” Shea said.

Calvin stepped out of her grasp and grabbed his wife again. He swiveled her around, grabbed both sides of her face then kissed her on the lips.

“What do you want?” she said.

He brought his lips right into her ear, then whispered. “You have a gun. In your purse. I want to know why.”

“Get off me!” She shoved him back a few steps. Everybody in the circle went quiet. “See for yourself, moron!” She flung the purse at him.

It hit Calvin in the abdomen. Out spilled her make-up, tampons, and a few pens. No gun.

“Whoa! Keep it in the bedroom, you two!” said Brody. He ran his hand threw his grey hair and chuckled.

Calvin shook his head, then lowered to one knee and picked up his wife’s belongings. Shea bent over and picked up a few of the items with him, then dumped them in the bag.

Calvin stood, then smacked Bridgette’s shoulder with the back of his hand. “Here.”

She folded her arms. “You don’t trust me.”

“Take your purse.”

She rolled her eyes, then returned to her circle.

“You okay?” Shea said to Calvin.

He nodded.

“Want me to hold that?” said Shea.

Calvin’s eyes were glued to his wife. She wasn’t just enjoying herself – she was glowing.

Shea made robot noises as she peeled his digits off the handle, one by one. She swung the purse over her shoulder, then stopped giggling.  “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“Yeah, I’m great.”

“Good, because that’s totally what I asked.”

A few people exited the night club, and the line moved forward.

“Brody works a lot, and I’m really busy with the kids,” said Shea. She stuck her palm to her eye. “Shit, I mean the kids I teach. I want kids, but Brody doesn’t. He used to, well before he married me-”

“My wife is going to kill me.”

Shea gasped. “What?”

Calvin studied Brody.

“I’m sure you’re just imagining it. I don’t know, you seem really creative. I think it’s cool how you play the guitar.”

Calvin faced her.

“Brody told me. They’ve been on the phone non-stop since Bridgette’s dad died.”

The group took another step forward. They were nearing the entrance.

“Did she even tell you? Shit, I shouldn’t have said that. Bridgette’s my good friend, and I don’t like getting into other people’s business. But that’s the only reason they look close.” She bit her lips, then pat Calvin’s shoulder blade. “I’m sorry. It’s not my place, I’m just a stranger to you… but if Bridgette’s scared you won’t be there for her when she needs you most, you kind of need to show her that she’s wrong… you know?”

The group advanced to the front of the line. “Wait here,” said the bouncer.

Shea sighed. “Shit, I can’t believe she didn’t tell you. That’s terrible. Not just for you, she must have trust issues. Just be patient and talk to her… I know I just met you, but you seem so sweet. Make her aware that you want to know all about the loss of her dad. That’s a really big deal… for anybody. I’m sure it’s not even you, she just feels vulnerable… There’s only two real men in a girls life, for God’s sake!”

Calvin shut his eyes.

Shea smiled kindly. “I know how it looks. Trust me, you think it’s been easy waiting for my husband to get off the phone with her? Bridgette’s an honorable person and would never do that to either of us, but I’m human, so yeah, I worry. I’ve been cheated on before – it destroyed me… for years.”

The group entered the nightclub, but the bouncer pulled the rope back before Calvin and Shea could pass through.

“Two?” said the bouncer.

“Oh, um, yeah I guess.” Shea scratched the back of her head. She frowned and punched Calvin in the shoulder. “It’s great to be a thinker, but you really should lighten up a little… I know Brody seems like a jerk, but he’s a good guy deep down… Trust me, he would never, ever cheat on me.” She smiled at Calvin. “So stop worrying about him and your wife already!”

The bouncer cleared the rope. The pair strode up the steps together and entered through the door. Music bumped, strobe lights flashed. Shea grabbed Calvin’s jacket flap. His gaze remained somewhere beyond her.

“Hey! Nothing is wrong! They’re friends! We’re friends! Relax and have fun!”

She hopped until she had his attention, then tossed her hair back and crossed her arms. “God, you really need to let things go!”

“I had breakfast with Bridgette’s dad this morning.”

Shea quit smiling. Calvin walked around her and pushed through the dancers.

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 4!

Too Perfect Marriage – Part 2

club

If you missed Part 1, click here!

A long black limo pulled up and parked by the curb. The driver walked around the vehicle and opened the door for them.

When Bridgette crouched down to enter, Calvin noticed a handgun tucked away in her purse. He stopped where he stood.

“All aboard the S.S. Jackhammer!” said Brody.

Cheers and laughter followed, along with a few clanks of bottles and glasses.

“Hey, can I talk to you about something?” Calvin said to Bridgette, his wife.

“Uh-oh, he’s getting cold feet, you were right about this guy!” said Brody.

“You’re not even inside, and you already want to argue?” said Bridgette.

The laughter and chatter died down.

“It’s just…” said Calvin. “When did you get… Are we going someplace dangerous?”

For a moment the limo went quiet. Then Brody let out an explosive chuckle, yanked Calvin inside by his tie, and everybody returned to their previous festive mood.

“Grab a drink guy, lighten up. It’s Friday!”

Bridgette laughed. She took the seat right beside Brody. Calvin moved around at a hunch until he squeezed in between two women.

“Name’s Calvin by the way.”

“What’s that?” said Brody.

“My name is Calvin. We haven’t met before. I’m a firefighter.” He scratched under his jaw. “You know, my name isn’t guy.”

Brody raised an eyebrow.

“Ignore him. He’s a party-pooper.” Said Bridgette.

“No, no,” said Brody. “I’m a stand-up guy myself. My name is Brody, and it’s a pleasure to meet you, Calvin. Your wife has nothing but wonderful things to say about you.”

“Oh, that’s a surprise,” he said with a laugh. Everybody chuckled along with him.

While the party guests indulged in the jovial mood, Calvin sat with his knees pressed together. He reached into his pocket for his phone, and started to text Bridgette.

When did you buy a gun?

“Baby, hold this for me!” Bridgette tossed her phone through the air.

Calvin made a jerky move to catch it. He wanted to ask her out loud, but her eyes darted to every spot he wasn’t.

Calvin shook his head, then slipped Bridgette’s phone into his other pocket. When he did, he inadvertently elbow-jabbed the breast beside him. Calvin instantly crossed his arms close to his chest, then sighed, shut his eyes, and let his head droop backward.

“I’m here, in my mold,” he muttered to himself.

“But I’m a million different people, from one day to the next.”

Calvin’s eyes shot open. The woman who he’d just bumped into had sung the rest of the verse.

“Bittersweet symphony?” said Calvin.

“I know, don’t you hate that song? Slaves to money then we die? Sorry, but money equals happiness.”

Calvin raised his eyebrows and grinned politely.

“That was a joke… kind of a bad one. Not sure where the laugh goes. The verve? Please. I love that song.” She mumble-sang the melody and bobbed her head.

Nothing about her screamed super-model. Especially not the freckles spotting both her dimpled cheeks. But she was… simple. And simple was better than ideal. A lot better.

“Another bottle,” Shea!” said Brody.

The woman beside Calvin nodded, then reached into a cooler and took out some Pinot Noir.

“Throw it,” said Brody.

“Well I don’t want to break-”

“Throw it, throw it, throw it!” began Brody, slapping his hands to his thighs. The rest of the party followed his lead, while Calvin had his eyes on Shea. She blinked rapidly, shook her head, then chucked it like it were a dead rat over to Brody. He and Bridgette tried to grab it at the same time, and in their haste they knocked the bottle straight to the floor, where it shattered. Wine spilled over Brody’s slacks and Bridgette’s ankles. The cheer halted.

“Dammit Shea,” said Brody. He fanned out his wet hands.

“Shit, I knew I shouldn’t have thrown it. I’m so sorry.”

“Oh, don’t you worry doll. Brody bought more than enough,” said Bridgette. She flashed a picture-perfect smile.

Calvin twisted his lips, then pressed out the creases in his slacks.

“I know, I’m clumsy. Here, I’ll pass you another,” said Shea.

She retrieved a new bottle from the cooler. Brody crouched low then made ‘chuga-chuga’ sound effects as if he were a train, and ‘chugged’ over to her.

“Hey, here’s an idea? Why don’t you just hand it to me?” He chuckled loud, then snagged the bottle from Shea. “You’re the best,” he said, then returned back to his seat beside Bridgette. He popped open the bottle, then poured those around him a glass. He met eyes with Calvin, who sat with his arms crossed.

“Would you like a glass?”

Calvin scratched under his jaw. “This is your wife, right?”

Brody glanced at her, then tugged his lip corners up with his cheeks. “How truly awful of me… I’ve been so excited to have fun tonight, formal introductions must have slipped my mind. Calvin, you’re sitting next to my wife, Shea.”

Calvin nodded with his tongue pushed into his teeth.

“Hi,” said Shea. She held out her hand, but Calvin’s eyes were trained on Brody.

“I’m not used to these events, so help me understand… why am I sitting next to your wife, while you’re sitting by mine?”

Bridgette glared at Calvin. Brody raised his eyebrows. The other party guests quietly sipped their drinks.

Brody opened his mouth, but Bridgette grabbed hold of his wrist.

“You don’t have to answer that,” she said. “Calvin… babe? This an adult event. Try to act like one.”

“It’s ok, B-ridge,” said Brody, returning Bridgette’s hand to her lap. “Now Calvin, it’s my fault for not giving you the four-one-one, but typically at events like this, you actually don’t use any seating charts. Had I known you would have felt more comfortable, I would have been happy to draw one up for you.”

Many of the party guests bit their lips. A few chuckles escaped.

“B-ridge?” said Calvin. “What’s that, your pet name for my wife?”

Bridgette’s palm smacked against her forehead. Brody wore a tight-lipped smile.

“Why don’t you tone it down a notch, huh guy? You didn’t pay for this limo. You don’t know anybody here. You wouldn’t even be here if weren’t for B-ridge. So take a drink, and enjoy the good vibes.”

Calvin mirrored Brody’s tight-lipped grin. “Sounds radical.”

Shea rubbed Calvin’s kneecap, then whispered in his ear. “Just ignore him.”

Calvin turned and they met eyes.

Shea darted her hand back, shook her head, then scratched behind her ear. She turned to Brody and smiled. “I’d like a drink!”

Brody’s eyes fidgeted between her and Calvin. “…sure.”

To be continued…

  • Thomas M. Watt

CLICK HERE FOR PART 3!