Kara looked down at her ringing phone as she walked around the Best Buy store searching for a new laptop. Hers decided to die that morning on her way to work. Craig was the furthest thing on her mind as she answered the call while the sales associate finished scanning her purchases.
“Hello,” she finally answered as she loaded the MacBook Pro into her trunk.
“Hey,” James replied, “Are you busy?”
“Nope, I’m just leaving Best Buy since my laptop broke this morning, “Why?”
“I need a ride home from the airport, my flight landed about an hour ago. I tried calling some of the guys but they’re all still home from the summer and taxi fare from the airport to the house is so expensive.”
“Shut up,” I’ll pick you up. Just wait outside of the main entrance of the airport.”
“Are you sure you don’t mind?”
“Not at all, give me ten minutes.”
Kara was ready to pull out of the parking space when she received a text message.
Where are you?
Kara threw her phone in her purse and sighed. Craig didn’t give up and Kara was at her wits end with him. She hadn’t seen him in a month but he called and texted her nonstop for the past month. The only time she finally saw him; Anne called her and told her that Craig was rushed to the hospital with appendicitis and Kara went to the hospital to help Anne with the kids.
Kara pulled up in front of the airport and saw James waiting for her. She noticed his hair was shorter and smiled when he hugged her.
“I hope you don’t mind me staying with you again this year,” James said as Kara pulled out of their hug.
“Not at all,” she smiled, “We’re both hardly ever home anyways.”
James laughed adjusting the hat that he was wearing, “True.”
“I love your hair,” Kara said as James ran his hand through it before placing the hat back on his head.
“Thanks, it was getting way too long and out of control.”
“Did you bring me home Gary?”
James rolled his eyes, “You wish.”
“He better come and visit Pittsburgh this year, if he does, I’m cooking a nice dinner.”
“Do I have to hide your roofies that day,” James joked as Kara shoved him playfully.
“Such a jackass,” she said as they pulled out of the airport and onto the highway.
“Are you hungry? Plane food always sucks and I’m starving.”
“Looks like you get to go to IKEA with me to get furniture too.”
James groaned causing Kara to laugh, “Hey you can always walk the parkway home.”
“Why IKEA though? Why not Macy’s or something?”
“I love all things that are Swedish. Swedish furniture, Swedish fish, Sweden, and last but not least Swedish men.”
James scoffed, “Really,’ he asked, “Swedish men?”
“Have you seen some of the hunks on TV and your opponents? You should totally get me the hookup with Brunnstrom.”
“No dating my former teammates or any of my teammates. I’m going to be like Gary and his daughter’s dating rules.”
“Ugh,” Kara growled as they arrived in front of IKEA.
“Do I get a say so in what furniture you get?”
“It’s your house too; you pay half of the rent.”
“Good, because I like this leather set,’ James said pointing to the black leather set with the brown wood trim.
“I don’t like the brown; it clashes with the black,” Kara replied, “What about that set?”
James turned and saw the black leather set with gold studs on the bottom of the bases, chuckling to himself, he turned back to Kara, “Really?”
“Not just because I like all things black and gold but the set looks very vintage.”
“It looks like something you’d see in the Godfather, I like it.”
“We can look at another place for a bigger selection if you’d like. I just thought IKEA would be reasonable.”
“Watch out,” James said as he wrapped his arm around Kara’s waist and pulled her out of the way from the palette that a sales associate was pulling. Neither one of them noticed the cell phone cameras of teenage girls snapping the innocent picture of James wrapping his arm around Kara’s waist.
“Thanks,” Kara said smiling.
“He almost pancaked you with a dresser,” James laughed.
Kara laughed as an associate came over to help them, after deciding to buy the black leather set and paying for everything, both Kara and James headed home. Since it was still early, James apologized for going to take a nap. He was jetlagged from flying since the early morning.
Kara was cleaning the house when her phone rang, without looking at the caller ID, she answered the call, “Hello,” she said pinning her phone between her ear and her shoulder as she breaded the chicken that she was planning on making for dinner later.
“Don’t hang up,” the voice said causing Kara to freeze in her tracks and almost drop the iPhone to the floor, “Just meet me somewhere.”
The phone went silent and Kara didn’t know what to reply, “Kara, are you there?”
“I thought I told you to only call me when you needed me to watch Rhys and Francesca,” Kara was ready to hang up when she heard Craig sigh on the other end of the phone.
“I just needed to hear your voice. Please don’t hang up.”
“Craig, you have a beautiful wife and two beautiful children, I told you before that I was done.”
“Kara, you say that every single time that we have sex and you feel like I use you. I’m not using you, Kara,” Craig said below a whisper, “I love you, Kara.”
Kara felt her cheeks flush and she remained silent. This was the first time that Craig had ever told her this. She didn’t know whether to believe him or not, how could a married man be in love with her? He had a wife of his own that he was supposed to love and two kids that worshipped the ground he walked on.
“Kara,” his voice said finally breaking her out of her thoughts, “Are you there?”
“Craig, I don’t have time for this, just leave me alone.”
Kara hit end on her cell phone and placed it on the counter next to her. Sitting in the stool at the island in the kitchen, she put her head in her hands and she felt the rush of guilt that she always felt wash over her. There was nothing that Craig could say or do that would change her mind for how she felt.
So what if he loved her, everyone told her that every single day. Why was Craig any different? Kara knew she would regret this but she had to find out for herself whether or not Craig really meant what he said, grabbing her cell phone off of the counter again, she dialed Craig’s number.
“Hello,” he answered.
“20 South 10th Street, three o’clock, it’ll be under K. Bender.”
“I’ll be there,” he promised.
Kara went into her room and packed the bag that she would need for the night, writing James a note, she placed it on the bed next to him before heading to her destination. The short drive felt as though it went on for hours. Kara’s heart raced faster as she parked her car in the garage and headed into the Holiday Inn.
She never thought she’d do this but after Craig told her he loved her, she knew she had to go against her better judgment and do what her brain told her was right and what her heart told her was wrong.
Kara finished curling her hair in the mirror when there was a knock on the door. Lighting one last candle on her way out, she took a look at herself and sighed. Looking through the small peephole on the door, she unlocked the chain and stepped back behind the door.
Craig smiled when he saw that she opened the door, “Hey,” he managed to get out when he turned around and saw her.
“Hi,” she blushed as Craig looked over her body. Kara noticed how nervous he was and she knew that maybe he wasn’t used to someone dressing up in lingerie for him.
“Wow,” he said completely speechless, “I don’t know what to say. Kara, you look…”
“Like a whore,” she said going to walk into the bathroom but Craig stopped her.
Craig placed his hands on her hips and silenced her with a kiss before saying what he wanted to say, “You look beautiful, so beautiful,” he said placing his lips on her collarbone and it wasn’t long before the backs of Kara’s knees met the bed.
Craig’s stubble brushed against Kara’s skin and she shuddered. Laughing slightly, Craig sat up quickly, stripping himself out of his shirt before resuming his attack on Kara’s neck.
Kara gasped as Craig untied the string holding the lingerie together, her nipples instantly hardened at the cold air suddenly hitting her hard skin.
“I meant it Kara,” he whispered burying his face in her chest, “I love you.”
“If you do,” she managed to get out as he nipped at her chest, “Prove it.”
Craig stood up and removed his pants while Kara stripped herself out of her panties. Lying back on the bed, Craig hovered over her before pushing himself into Kara’s hot core slowly.
Kara’s back arched in pleasure and Craig took it as his cue to push himself all the way in. Their hips rocked together slowly before Craig picked up his pace while whispering sweet nothings in Kara’s ear.
Kara flipped them over so that she was on top of Craig. Craig smiled as he watched her breast bounce up and down. Craig felt himself fall out of Kara completely but she slammed back down earning a string of profanities from him.
Kara collapsed on top of Craig moments later. Brushing the sweaty hair out of her eyes, Craig placed a sweet kiss on her lips, “I don’t want this to end, ever.”
Kara couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth as she replied, “Neither do I, it’ll be our little secret.”
“It is one worth keeping, that’s for sure,” Craig smiled suddenly feeling victorious that his ‘I love you,’ made Kara give into temptation.
Nothing perfect lasts forever and things were about to take a huge U-turn, can two really keep a secret before something changes their lives forever?