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Copyright © 2017
Table of Contents
"Hey, sweetheart, are you feeling all right?" Lloyd asked. He was a patient man. He gave Lizbeth the benefit of the doubt.
"Mmmm, what, leave me alone?" she said, turning over.
Lloyd Hamilton worked at the Lake View Country Club as tennis pro. He was a handsome man, young, tall, good build and a tremendous capacity to forgive the human condition. His idea of arguing was discussing what to watch on television. Lloyd didn't enjoy rough rides. He liked everyone to be happy and everything to sail smoothly. Unfortunately, he was the best kind of target for girls like Lizbeth.
"When did you get home?" Lizbeth asked, yawning and stretching.
"Just a minute ago, are you feeling all right?"
"Mmmmm, yeah, fine."
"I'm starving, Lizbeth, is there anything made?"
He wasn't the sort who expected a clean place and supper on the table when he came home. Before Lizbeth moved in he took care of that himself, but Lloyd figured if Lizbeth wasn't going back to work she could at least stick to their arrangement.
They had been dating for a long time. Lizbeth used to work for a real estate company on the outskirts of town, but she wanted to quit and go back to school. She offered Lloyd her services in return for support and promised to clean, cook, take care of the laundry, plus fill his sexual needs if he'd let her move in, but so far the only part of the bargain she'd managed to keep was the sex.
"No, I haven't had time. I've been studying all afternoon and I'm beat." she said. Lloyd's eyes scanned the room. The overflowing ashtray on the table and the empty coke bottle and cookie crumbs all over the coffee table suggested a different story. Lloyd didn't want to appear unreasonable, but there wasn't a school book in sight.
"Where's your books, Lizbeth?" he said in a calm voice.
"Whadda you mean, where's my books?" she snapped.
"You say you've been studying, so?"
"Are you going to start on me again, Lloyd, because if you are I think it only fair to warn you I'm not in a real good mood right now." Lizbeth said, sitting up on the sofa and plopping a pillow to her lap. She was difficult most of the time, but Lloyd tried to understand. He'd graduated college last year and remembered how hard it was to study for classes. He gave Lizbeth every opportunity hoping their relationship would go back to running smoothly the way it did in the beginning.
"I'm just curious, Lizbeth. You said you've been hitting the book, but as far as I can see you've been watching soaps all day."
"Oh, I get it, so now you're my father, right. You have to scold me when I don't do my school work." she snapped again.
"Why are you jumping on me like this?" Lloyd asked, tenderly. "It's a reasonable question. Where have you been studying all afternoon, that's all I'm really asking. Where's the books?"
"I don't have to take this from you." Lizbeth said, jumping up and throwing the pillow to the floor. She stormed into the kitchen and Lloyd followed.
"Forget I asked, Lizbeth. It's not important. What do we have around here to eat?" Lloyd asked, opening the refrigerator. She had left an open can of soup on the door shelf and when Lloyd flung open the door it spilled all over the floor. He didn't utter a word. He bit his tongue watching the slimy noodles and tiny chunks of chicken meat flow over his shoes.
"Way to go, Lloyd." Lizbeth smirked seeing the mess. I'm not cleaning it up. You made it, you have to clean it up." she added.
There was a silence in the kitchen so stark it was deafening and Lloyd fought hard to hold back his anger. Lizbeth was pushing him to the edge and he didn't know how much longer he could hold on.
"I think I'll grab a bite out." he said.
"I'll come with you." she said, springing into action like a long distance runner starting down the track at the sound of the gun.
"I think I'd like to go alone." he said. Lloyd had never done that. He was always loving and sweet, but he was angry and Lloyd felt that if he didn't get away from her he'd lose it and really let her have an earful.
"Fine, okay, go on. Have a good time." Lizbeth said sarcastically. "Never mind I've been busting ass around here all day. Never mind I've been studying until I'm half blind. Go, be alone. I'll find someone to eat dinner with, no problem."
"Lizbeth, don't do this." Lloyd pleaded, but his girlfriend could be as hot as fire one minute then freeze his face the next.
"No, don't think a thing about it, Lloyd, go. Eat until you fucking bust." she shouted, grabbing her cookie bag and running to her room.
Some men would do almost anything to keep peace in a relationship and Lloyd Hamilton was top on that list. Lizbeth had him right where she wanted and there wasn't anything Lloyd could do to break free from her hold. She could manipulate him easier than a child molds clay and as frustrating as it was he took it because he cared about her.
Lloyd followed Lizbeth to the bedroom begging her to come out to dinner with him and when she refused, he went back to the kitchen and made a peanut butter sandwich. Lizbeth was happy. Her childish tantrum managed to keep him from going out and that's all she wanted.
She kept him in knots most of the time, but Lloyd didn't know how to avoid the situation. He wanted them to get along. He hated discord and strife. He bent over backward to make her happy and even further trying to keep her that way. The only tool Lloyd had was sex, but even that didn't seem to please her. She was becoming impossible and Lloyd knew something had to be done about it.
After the sandwich he took sat down to go over his lesson schedule. His students were increasing and he needed to shuffle the court time making room for everyone. Lizbeth hadn't shown her face since the tiff and when she finally did she was decked out like a showgirl on her way to opening night.
"Why so dressed up?" Lloyd asked.
"I'm going out." Lizbeth said, sternly.
Lloyd thought it odd that she would be leaving. He wished he could ruin her night too, but Lloyd Hamilton wasn't the type of man to use manipulation. He was better at taking it. He thought his question was reasonable, but Lizbeth lit into him with her equal rights speech number five hundred thirty three and Lloyd went back to scheduling classes.
"Don't wait up." she said.
Lizbeth Arnell was a beautiful girl. She had skin like rich cream and a body so shapely, top models looked like rag dolls next to her. Lizbeth's eyes were rich brown and her long flowing auburn hair shone with sparkling highlights. She had pouty lips and a button nose and Lloyd became aroused just sniffing her perfume, but the price he was having to pay for all this feminine wonder was rapidly becoming too steep.
"Why are you doing this?" he asked, putting down the tennis court roster.
"Doing what?" Lizbeth smirked.
"You know what."
"Are you telling me I can't go out now? Didn't Lizbeth earn privileges today, daddy? Has she been a bad little girl and now has to stay in her room?"
"Lizbeth, you act as if I treat you like a child. You know I don't, hell, I treat you as an adult, you act like a child."
"And I suppose you don't?" she snapped.
"All I want is for us to get along the way we used to. We used to have a good times together, remember?" Lloyd said.
Lizbeth listened. She didn't say a word.
"Come on, sit down. Let's talk about this. If we can figure out the problem I'm sure we can. I'm sorry I upset you earlier, Lizbeth. I was tired. I was hungry, okay, I'm sorry."
Lizbeth took a seat next to the front door. She made a pouty face then told him it wasn't fair.
"You come home after a lousy day and you take it out on me. That isn't fair, Lloyd."
"I didn't have a lousy day, Lizbeth, I...."
"Well, what would you call it then? You wake me up saying it's time to get up, time to get up, then you have a fit because supper isn't on the table. What's your problem, Lloyd, I'm not your personal maid you know. I'm not your live in cook and care taker."
"We made a deal, Lizbeth. We had an arrangement."
"I'm keeping up my end of the bargain, what do you mean?" she shouted.
Lloyd didn't like where the conversation was leading. There was no talking to her anymore. She was like a spoiled rich kid at her seventh birthday party and he thought it better just to drop the subject.
"Fine, never mind. Have a good time." he said, waving her good-bye. Lizbeth made another face then shook her head. She stormed off leaving him alone again.
Lloyd held his cool until after she was gone, but as soon as the car swung out of the lot he became furious.
"Damn!" he said, pounding a fist to the window sill. Lloyd looked around the place. The dishes needed washing, the laundry was piling up. She hadn't so much as emptied the trash and the place was starting to smell.
"Keeping up with her end of the bargain, my ass!" he snapped. As important as rescheduling his classes was, Lloyd couldn't stand sitting in the mess. He put the roster aside and took out his cleaning supplies.
It was close to nine when he finished cleaning the apartment. The kitchen floor shined and the place looked like the home he'd known before Lizbeth moved in. Lloyd was beat. He made a pot of coffee then he settled in to work oh classes. When the phone rang he wanted it to be Lizbeth. He wanted to give her a piece of his mind. He wanted to shout at her and tell her to just stay gone, and if it had been her, Lloyd would have said it, but it wasn't.
"Hey, buddy." Geoffrey said. "What's going on?"
"Not much. Scheduling classes." Lloyd said, disappointment in his voice. He wanted the call to be from Lizbeth.
"Hey, forget that shit man, I got a deal for you."
"No deals tonight, I can't take any more deals, beside, if I don't get this work finished I'll have a court full of angry students next week."
"Aw, come on, Lloyd, we've got a hot one going. Do it later."
"I can't, Geoffrey, I've been trying to get to it all night and this is the first chance I've had."
"Oh, I get it, you and Delilah been dipping the wick?" Geoffrey said jokingly.
"No, not a chance." Lloyd said. The anger he felt for Lizbeth at that moment was enough to keep his wick dry for a long time. "She's out greeting the masses. It's just me and the dust."
"Hasn't cleaned up the place, huh?" Geoffrey said. He knew all about Lizbeth and her cleaning habits.
"It's clean now." Lloyd said.
"Been busting hump all night?" Geoffrey asked, knowing the answer.
"Lizbeth's had a lot of studying, besides, it's my place too."
"Give it a rest, Samson, I don't buy it. Delilah use to work in this camp, remember?"
"Come on, Geoffrey, not tonight, okay. Hell, I've had enough for one night. She's just in a slump. Maybe she's got a lot on her mind these days. She'll come around."
Geoffrey took a deep breath then let it out into the phone. Lloyd heard it and knew a lecture was coming.
"Geoffrey, please, I can't take it," he pleaded, but Geoffrey blurted it just the same.
"Listen to yourself, Lloyd, you're making excuses for her like she was your wife. You don't have to put up with Lizbeth till death do you part, buddy, that's the beauty of living together. Dump the bitch. Do yourself a favor and just toss her out."
"I can't." Lloyd said.
"Why not? Give me one good reason why and I'll never open my mouth about her again." Geoffrey shouted.
Lloyd thought about it. They weren't married, that much was true, and Lizbeth wasn't living up to their agreement, but he loved the girl, and love isn't rational, it's just love.
"I can't, Geoffrey. I love the girl."
"Give me a break, Lloyd, that girl doesn't know love from a five dollar vibrator. Dump her! She might be good looking, Lloyd, but there are plenty of lookers around."
"It's not just that, Geoffrey."
"The hell it isn't hey, I've seen the goods a few times myself, but there are women out there, Lloyd, who have great goods and they don't sit on them all the time. What you need is new blood, my man. You need to get back in the ball game and find a team mate who'll follow the rules."
Lloyd knew Geoffrey was right, but he couldn't just throw Lizbeth out. He wasn't that sort of man. He hoped she'd just leave on her own, but it had been months now and there was no sign of that happening. The situation was only getting worse and Lloyd felt powerless to change it.
"I can't handle her anymore, Geoffrey. She's so damn angry all the time. I don't know, I guess I should just toss her out, but I can't. I keep thinking there's a chance she'll come around."
"You know, I didn't want to be the one to tell you this, Lloyd, but your Miss America isn't keeping her crown pure."
"Whadda you mean?" Lloyd asked.
"Lizbeth's been over to see Len twice since you two started dating and he told me she wasn't stopping in just to say hello. She's cheating on you, man, the woman is a pig."
Lloyd couldn't believe it. He didn't want to believe it. In all the months he'd been seeing Lizbeth he'd never even looked at another girl, and Len? Len was his friend. How could he do such a thing?
"Why didn't say something before, Geoffrey?" Lloyd asked with mixed feelings of anger and hurt. "Why am I the last one to know?"
"Come on, man, what's the point. Most guys who date Lizbeth find out sooner or later. You're just finding out later, that's all. Besides, it's not my place to tell what I know about every horny chick in town, Lloyd."
"Why are you telling me now then?"
"I don't know. Maybe it's time you knew."
Lloyd and Geoffrey finished their conversation and for the rest of the evening, Lloyd couldn't concentrate. He kept thinking about Lizbeth and wondering if she was with another man. Len wasn't to blame and Lloyd realized that. She probably pressured him the same way she pressured Lloyd and he couldn't hold it against any man to make it with Lizbeth Arnell. She was one hard lady to pass up.
He gave up on the class schedules. Instead, he sat up watching a late movie waiting for Lizbeth to come home. He ran the scenario over and over again in his mind hoping to rehearse it to perfection. He imagined Lizbeth walking in all ragged and worn out from rolling around in bed with some guy and he was prepared to force her to sit down and listen to what he had to say.
"I wanna talk to you, Lizbeth. Sit!" he'd demand, and she'd sit. "I know all about it. I know you've been seeing other men and I'm telling you I won't stand for it. I want you out by morning. No, not morning, right now dammit, I want you out tonight." He visualized Lizbeth bursting into tears then begging him to reconsider, but he would hold his ground. Lloyd wouldn't give in this time. He was going to let her have it.
Lloyd thought out every word he planned to say and when Lizbeth finally did come home, he was ready. She came in and asked why he'd waited up, but Lloyd told her to sit down.
"I want to talk with you, Lizbeth. Sit!" he shouted, assuming she would cower on command.
"I'm tired, let's talk in the morning." she said.
"No, we're going to talk now." he said, shutting off the television. Lloyd stood in front of the couch and motioned for her to sit down. She did, but not without huffing and puffing like a little girl who's mommy had just told her to clean her room.
"I know all about it, Lizbeth."
"Yeah, so what, Lloyd, you know all about everything."
"I mean the men?" Lloyd snapped.
"What in hell are you talking about, Lloyd? It's late and I'm tired. Can we just go to bed?"
"Len, Lizbeth, I know all about you and Len."
Lizbeth looked at him. She grinned and shook her head.
"So? You know about Len. I told you about us a long time ago, Lloyd. What's the big deal?"
"You've had sex with him since we've been dating." Lloyd said.
"Have you been listening to Geoffrey again?" she asked with disgust. "You know why he's doing this, don't you? Geoffrey is pissed because I turned him down. Sure, I went to see Len. We talked. Geoffrey was there, he knows we just talked. Len went into the kitchen to get me a coke and while he was gone, Geoffrey hit on me. Lizbeth, baby, let's do it." he said. "Come on, fuck me, I gotta have you, Lizbeth, I've wanted you since day one. give me a break, Lloyd, Geoffrey's had his puny ego bruised and he's jealous of you. The man wants us to split up so he can get back at me."
Lloyd didn't know what to say. What if she was telling the truth? What if Geoffrey really did want her for himself? He had to decide. He had to reach some decision or nothing would be right. Lloyd looked at her. She was a lovely thing. He would miss the way she squeezed his cock with her tight pussy muscles and the way she licked his ears, but he'd have to pay her way on everything just to get a piece of tail once every other week.
Lloyd looked around the apartment. The tables were clear, the rug vacuumed. Even the newspapers were stacked neatly and not strewn all over the room the way Lizbeth left them. He had to bust ass around there to keep things neat and not only did he have his washing, he had hers as well.