The Shelf

by Russ

She was laid on her back reading when I came to join her in bed, still on top of the covers wearing just her nightshirt and thick fluffy socks. She let her eyes flicker away from the page just long enough for me to know I’d been noticed. I settled at her side and waited patiently for her to finish the chapter. Consideration like that is important in a relationship. She turned a page without making any move to stop, so I nuzzled in close and gently chewed on the lobe of her ear. I let my fingers tickle at her thigh under the hem of her shirt before sliding them underneath and across her stomach, letting the tips dip into her belly button as they passed. It was when I reached the ridge of bone between the bottom of her breasts that she finally let the book drop. She didn’t turn her head to me, so I lifted mine over her to start the kiss. She wasn’t pushing me away, but she wasn’t exactly responding, it was like trying to tongue a manikin. I pulled away, she was looking at the wall behind me.

‘Everything OK?’ I asked.

‘I’m just admiring the new shelf Dave put up today.’

Dave was the handyman for our apartment block, we’d hired him to help with a few of the final fixes. Today’s had been a shelf over the bedroom mirror. I could have put it up myself, obviously, but I had work, and squash, and, y’know.

‘He’s done such a good job, don’t you think?’

I turned my head to give it a glance, it looked straight and centred to me.

‘He’s so skilled. Really impressive. It was a real pleasure to watch him work.’

‘You watched?’

‘Well, yeah, he asked me to hold his plums, I couldn’t leave after that.’

‘Sorry, plums?’

‘Yeah, y’know, the things to make sure it’s straight. With the line, and the weight.’

‘His plumb bob?’

‘That’s it. He had me hold it in my fingers as it dangled under the wood, while he found the exact right spots to drill. He was so confident as he worked the holes. Calm, but firm, y’know? I could have leant against the wall all day while he screwed. It was such a thrill to be in the hands of a craftsman like that.’

She flashed her eyes to the side, checking my expression, before going back to the shelf.

‘I just can’t stop looking at how well hung it is, and thinking about how much I enjoyed helping Dave get it up it against our bedroom wall. What an erection!’

The last few words of her sentence where spluttered through uncontrolled laughter as she practically shook at how pleased she was with herself, knowing she’d asserted her revenge.

‘For the last time,’ I said. ‘I was just trying to say that your sister was looking well, that’s all.’

Now she kissed me, as I wondered how long I’d need to leave it before I could replace that shelf.