Éveiller Drive, Book 1
Published 2016 by Book Boutiques.
Copyright © 2016, Melanie James.
All rights reserved.
On a sleepy little street, in a quiet little subdivision, hearts were silently breaking. Marriages were crumbling. Couples became victims of the all too common scheduled-to-the max, stressed out beyond belief norm of daily living. It seemed as if there simply were not enough hours in the day to set aside time for the closeness that couples needed. Intimacy, the essential ingredient required to have a happy and satisfying marriage was severely lacking.
Each couple entered into marriage thinking life would be easier with a loving partner at their side. All had believed that love was enough to keep you happy, satisfied, and content. Little did they know that a good marriage required a lot of hard work and loads of compromise. A happy marriage requires couples be more than just lovers or bed partners. Both husbands and wives are expected to be a friend, lover, supporter, and confidante. And that is only the start.
Just when the couples thought they had the hang of it, children came along. Everything changed from that moment on. They loved their children with every breath in their body, like any good parent would. However, they never stopped to consider how much their lives changed when kids entered the picture. Their lives no longer revolved around one another. The marriages and the households were no longer about two people. They said goodbye to making love all night and Saturday morning sexcapades without even realizing it. It just slipped away.
Choices were no longer black and white. Decisions were no longer simple yes or no answers. There were many shades and variations of the gray areas. Choices were made, and plans for the future revolved around what was best for the growing family. Passion and romance fell to the bottom of the ever-growing list of priorities, and eventually dropped off to the wayside.
The women felt neglected, as did the men. They wondered where they had gone wrong with their spouses, never connecting the events that led to their dismal states. After all, they worked hard. They were successful. They loved their kids and always put them first. The couples used to be close. Sex consisted of the four Fs—fantastic, fun, frequent, and fucking mind boggling. Now it was nothing more than a frequently overlooked urge. Intimacy had become another chore that needed to be done, or an itch that needed to be scratched. Nothing more—nothing less.
Each couple wishing desperately to go back to the happy, fulfilling marriages they once had, but not knowing how to get there. How could they rekindle the spark that had been lost? Was the spark still there? Wasn’t it normal to lose the passion and heat after years of exclusivity?
Sadly, several of the couples believed it was far too late to save their marriages. They were one screaming match away from losing their partners forever. None of them wanted to rock the proverbial boat and pretended all was calm and normal. When in fact, if you peeked behind the closed doors, it was anything but calm and normal. Anger stewed as problems escalated. Words blazed from unchecked tongues and burned deeply. Verbalized anger caused hurt that could not be easily healed. Jealously acted as an accelerator of the suspicion that easily grew in the hearts of weary, exhausted spouses. What had been a fire of love, lust, and passion turned into a cold, lonely, and dark place.
Welcome to Éveiller Drive.
It was five in the morning. Alarm clocks began to chime their early morning tune waking the sleepy natives that lived on Éveiller Drive. Lights began to flicker on, washing away the darkness that remained over the street. Residents stretched, climbing out of bed, longing for a weekend or vacation when they could sleep for more than four or five hours a night.
Coffee pots hissed and gurgled, filling the houses with the standard morning aroma. Bleary eyed, drowsy couples bumped into one another in their hallways in a desperate scramble to feed their first morning addictions.
Their brains were too foggy to contemplate speaking to one another. They quietly sipped their coffee, reading over the morning news on their laptops. Each individual thankful for the few minutes of peace and quiet before the mad scramble and panicked rush to start their day.
The morning rituals played out across the neighborhood, as more of the residents started a fresh new day. Each praying for less stress than the day before.
The hallways of the homes started to come alive with the sound of children waking to their separate morning rituals, some rushing off for the shower before grabbing a quick bite, then heading off to school. Others needed to be poked to keep moving at a snail’s pace on their hunt for forgotten backpacks, shoes, or homework assignments.
When the mad rush finished, the stay at home moms were left drained from the morning hassle of getting everyone off to where they needed to be and on time.
Now it was time to start their own busy day, but first, each of the women had their Tuesday morning ritual to attend to. One day each week they would meet at a designated home for coffee. The women were neighbors that became friends, friends that became sisters. Each always there for one another. A bond had formed that could not be broken. Ava, Kara, Laura, Ashley, Valerie, and Jamie were always there to support one another and offer encouragement, in any way they could. They knew they could count on each other for anything, day or night. No questions asked. They were there for each other through good and bad. If one of their sisters needed anything, they would do anything in their power to make it happen. Each woman was fiercely protective of one another.
In four years none had ever missed their weekly coffee date. A few times the location had to be changed, even moved to the hospital to celebrate a birth. It was a tradition they had worked hard to establish. It was more than just coffee with friends. It turned into their makeshift therapy sessions where they could talk to one another about problems and look for solutions. They could brainstorm ideas and tackle challenges as needed. Most of all, they offered their unconditional love and support to one another.
The women also used their time together to plan carpools and after school activity schedules for their kids. They found out, pretty early on, that working together benefited everyone in the group. Many of their kids had the same schedules and activities. It made sense to each of them to work together.
The close knit group surprised everyone on the street because each had very different backgrounds and income brackets. Some were young, some were older. A few of them were struggling to hold onto their homes while others were well-to-do. They never let their differences stand in the way of their sisterhood. They were forever united.
Their husbands all got along well, some better than others. But it never stopped them from supporting their weekly gathering. The men encouraged it, knowing it was good for their wives.
Coffee this week would be at Ava’s house.
Ava chugged along, sleep deprived and groggy. All she wanted to do was crawl back into bed and call it a day. She dreamed of catching up on the hours of sleep that had eluded her. Her husband Will and children were gone for the day, but it didn’t mean she had time to relax. A nice long nap was nothing more than a dream that would never come true. She had a million things to do, errands to run, and groceries that needed to be bought. She also had dinner to cook, her husband’s dry cleaning to drop off, and a slew of various household chores to complete.
Her to-do list also consisted of making it to the post office to ship the various jewelry orders she received throughout the week. It came as a bit of a surprise that her little home based jewelry store had started to take off. She loved to design and create necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and even hairpins. She never expected to make much money, but things were looking up, and she had cleared almost three thousand dollars over the last month. The few months before that were also pretty nice for her checking account.
First she needed to make a little time for herself and her friends. It was finally Tuesday, the best day of the week for Ava. The weekly coffee date quickly became her only escape from her hectic life. The women liked to let go and laugh about all that had happened over the past seven days. It was a time for the women to catch up with one another and fill each other in on life events.
It was Ava’s turn to host and that was fine with her. She loved having a house full of people. It was something she was rarely afforded. They would be arriving shortly, but that was the least of her worries. That was the best part of the get together. Everyone came in their yoga pants and t-shirts. They were not there to impress one another and really didn’t care how they looked. Normally, Ava would never let anyone see her without her hair done and makeup applied. But to the women that would soon be filling her home, it simply didn’t matter. They had all seen each other at their worst and still loved one another. That alone was worth its weight in gold.
The smell of coffee filled her home again, waking her senses a little more. She piled her long red hair on top of her head and secured it with the largest clasp she could find. She headed for the kitchen, pulling fresh fruits from the fridge. She took her time to slice honeydew, cantaloupe, grapefruit, apples, and oranges. She dropped a few grapes on the fruit platter and set it aside. She moved onto slicing a few bagels and adding them to a separate plate, along with a few different styles of cream cheese.
Kara and Laura were the first to arrive and let themselves into Ava’s home. They headed straight for the kitchen before calling, “Good morning!”
“Hi. Come on in and grab a cup.” Ava called out as she continued on with her tasks of making sure there was something for everyone.
“Mmmm. The coffee smells good in here, and it’s just what I need.” Kara grabbed a coffee mug from the cabinet and handed another to Laura. They filled their mugs just as the others walked in. The remainder of the women quickly followed suit and grabbed their cups, filling them to the brim.
“I think I could drink this whole pot today.” Valerie announced. “I am so tired, it’s been a long night.”
“What happened?” Ava was first to ask, as the others looked for Valerie to elaborate. The concern was evident on each of their faces.
“Same old shit I suppose. Greg and I seem to be fighting constantly. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Last night he sprung the news on me that his brother was kicked out of his apartment, yet again. Apparently Greg told him he could stay with us until he gets back on his feet. I know he needs help, but where am I going to put him? It’s not like we have a spare bedroom, and I really don’t want him sleeping on my couch for God knows how long. I’m not opposed to the idea of helping him, I just wish Greg would have talked to me about it first.” Valerie explained.
“When is he moving in?” Jamie asked.
“Sometime today.” Valerie rolled her eyes at the thought.
“Nothing like unexpected, long-term house guests.” Ashley added. “My father-in-law stayed with us for four months after Jeff’s mother filed for divorce. It was the worst four months of my life. I still don’t think our marriage has recovered.”
The women filled their plates with fruits and bagels, grabbed their cups, and headed to the family room. Ava’s home was comfortable, yet lived in. It wasn’t immaculate or pristine in any manner. It was simply a house that she turned into a home.
They sat scattered on the couch, loveseat, and floor. Their little circle was welcoming and inviting. They opened up to one another about the problems that each was facing with their spouses. Each one hating the fact their relationships seemed to be on thin ice. Tension filled each of the homes, some closer than others to the breaking point.
Ava was first to admit to the problems she and Will were having. “He doesn’t seem to be interested in me anymore. I can’t even tell you the last time we had sex. Yeah, sadly it’s been that long. Ever since Will was promoted, he’s been stressed to the max. It’s like he comes home in a bad mood, grouching at me and the kids over any little thing. And the next morning he is still in a bad mood. I’m afraid to say anything to him these days for fear of setting him off. I never seem to know what’s going to make him snap.”
“Have you tried talking to him at all? Maybe ask what’s bugging him?” Laura questioned as she bit into her apple slice.
“No. He’s so busy in the evenings trying to catch up on all the things he didn’t have time to finish at work. By the time I finally get the kids to bed, I’m beat. Most nights I fall asleep waiting for him to come to bed. When I get up in the morning, he’s already heading out the door for work.”
Ava sipped her coffee, savoring the rich, bold flavor. She was deep in thought remembering what her life used to be like right after she and Will had married. They were close and loving. While she was always the shy type, it didn’t prevent them from having an immensely physical relationship. From the beginning of their relationship, they instantly clicked. One touch from Will and her temperature rose. She could always count on him to come on to her every night of the week, and now that the tide had turned, she missed it terribly.
There was no denying Will was hot as hell. One quick glance at his naked body and she could orgasm. The sight of his cock, well, that was another story entirely. He could make her feel things that should never be discussed. She missed all that and more, but most of all she missed him. Sure they lived together, but they did next to nothing together. They snored in the same bed together. That summed up her marriage of nine years to the man.
She shook her mind free of the thoughts. It would do her no good to remember what used to be. It would only hurt her feelings and make her yearn for what she no longer had with the man she loved. “I just wish there was some way to get him to fuck my brains out, like he used to. It sounds bad to say it, I know, but I’m dying here. Our sex life used to be amazing. Now, not so much. I feel like a fucking desperate housewife for God’s sake.”
“Here, here.” The women raised their coffee mugs in unison, a mock salute to their dire states. Each woman took turns discussing the dismal bedroom scenarios that had played out for far too long.
“Seriously, something has got to change for all of us. Maybe we should just demand our husbands start satisfying us in bed again!” Valerie protested to her friends.
“That may not be such a bad idea.” Laura chimed in.
Ashley played with her ponytail, the idea spinning in her mind. “Well—what if each one of us creates an evening so enticing our husbands can’t turn away? What’s the one thing that turns your men on more than anything else?”
“Oh, I love it! And you’re right. Maybe we have been sitting on the fences too long, letting them dictate how and when we get sex.” Jamie replied.
“What if we all try and they still say no? I’m not sure about all of you, but I’m not sure I could take that kind of rejection from Will.” Ava’s stomach churned at the thought. The half bagel she ate tried to make its way back up her throat. That kind of rejection would kill her. She feared her marriage was on its last leg. Or perhaps her husband no longer found her attractive. Would a stunt like this push it to the breaking point? She didn’t know if she was ready to take that kind of a leap. At the same time, she knew the status quo had to change with Will.
“Ava, we have all seen the way Will looks at you. You can’t be that blind. The man adores you. Maybe we have all taken our husbands for granted, to work and take care of things. Maybe this is just what each of us needs to rekindle our relationships. I don’t know about you all, but I need to get laid, something needs to give.” Kara interjected.
“How about this? Each week one of us watches the others kids for the weekend? Just to get the little buggers out from under our feet for a couple of days. It will give each of us time to concentrate on just our men, ourselves, and amazing sex.” Jamie suggested. “Now, who’s in?”
The girls all agreed to the plan and started to brainstorm the details. Everyone agreed the reluctant Ava would go first. It was hers and Will’s anniversary in a few short days. Ava felt bad because they didn’t plan anything, and it was their tenth anniversary. She wondered if Will had forgotten. It wasn’t like him to forget her birthday or their anniversary, but he hadn’t been himself in several months. She could text him about it, but honestly, she didn’t want to have to remind her husband about their anniversary. She wanted him to remember it on his own, not because she had nagged him about it.
With the plan in place, she had a couple of days to prepare for her weekend with her husband. It would be the first weekend they spent alone since they had their son seven years ago. The thought alone terrified her. What would they do for an entire weekend without the kids? Could she really leave them alone for that long and enjoy the time with Will?
A myriad of thoughts twisted through her head, but she pulled one from her mind at a time and put it to paper. This simply had to work. She couldn’t handle another day of living with Will and not being intimate. She needed her loving husband back, and now that she had lit the spark, it was time to set a flame to their love life.