Startled, she puts the pencil down and looks up from the calculator. “What?”
“Upstairs. And find a respectful way of speaking.”
When He gets formal it’s bad news.
She’s not in the mood for this.
She’s overworked–missing deadlines.
She scoots the chair back and stands up– reluctant. She works to keep her jaw from tightening with resistance. Reluctance.
Are these not his taxes too?
Moving from her spot allows a different view; a ton of unwashed clothes litters the floor of the laundry room across the hall. Stepping into the hall, tensely passing him where he stands in the doorway, into the hall she catches a glimpse of the folding table.
There are at least three loads strewn here and there, –evidence of people searching for underwear and socks.
A tiny puff of air escapes from her lungs.
She can smell the sharp sting of the litter box.
Pet hair drifts along the floor as she makes the turn to the stairs.
He walks behind her. Silent, but for the clink of the buckle and the slip of leather through belt loops and then the gentle thawck against his pants’ leg as he climbs the stairs.
She can feel his gaze–
Burning her ass as she climbs.