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Begin the story here.

When he got home, she told him dinner wasn’t here yet. Here, as in delivery. This too was odd in her. She’d always said cooking soothed her, and now she was pacing across the kitchen tiles. But he refused to judge the situation and headed upstairs to set down his jacket and briefcase. He heard the distant chime of the doorbell and the soft click of the door followed by the crinkle of plastic exchanging hands.

He got out of his work clothes and changed into sweats and a t-shirt then headed down. Already his mouth was watering with the hopes of Chinese food, soggy with soy sauce. But the kitchen was empty. Surprised, but unworried, he headed for the living room couch.

An empty Styrofoam container, the contents gone except the gory smears of sauce, sat unwatched on the ottoman. He looked around for her, but she was not to be seen. The back door, open, let in a breeze and he could smell the sweet orange chicken lingering in the air. Then a movement caught his attention by the patio furniture, her knee poking out to the side of a chair, bouncing with energy.

She held a nugget of sticky sauce coated chicken in her fingers for only a second before she clamped her teeth down around its middle. Containers lay in a kind of rainbow around her seat, but no utensils.

“What are you doing out here?” he asked the easiest question first.

“Fo nife outh,” she garbled.

“Uh, huh,” he agreed, watching the sauce drip between her fingers over her knuckles.

“Are there any utensils?”

“Dere forgoth,” she continued to eat through her words.

“Oh, okay, I’ll grab some forks then?”

She shrugged, unperturbed. He spent much longer than he needed to in the kitchen. Having never needed to tease or reproach her before, he was at a loss as to how to respond. To suggest she was behaving like a caveman sounded harsh. He tried to think of a humorous way to bring it up, but nothing came to mind for sheer unordinariness. If she wanted to eat that way, why stop her? And he went out to sit with her while she ate, delicately picking at his food with the tines of his chopsticks.

When the food was gone, she stood up, licking her greasy fingers. He watched her, for a second disgusted by her, but soon he felt warmth growing between his legs with the suggestive motion of her fingers entering and exiting her mouth. For a moment the chopsticks went limp in his hands. But before he could work up the thought of how to flirt with his wife, she had wiped the wet fingers on her sweats and was walking to the door.

“I’m tired. I think I’ll go to bed now,” she yawned without covering her mouth. A bit of sauce still clung to the bottom of her lip.

Continue the story here.

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