Matt Forney
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Life During Peacetime: Part Four

Read First: Life During Peacetime: Part Three

I couldn’t sleep at all that night.

Audrey had passed out almost instantly, rolling over on top of my shoulder in some unconscious display of possession. I was terrified of what might happen if I shut my eyes.

If you get stabbed in the chest while you’re asleep, do you die sleeping or do you wake up long enough to see the knife poking out of your ribs?

The melatonin wasn’t working and I was all out of Benadryl. I felt like I was cuddling with a suitcase nuke. I just stared at the pitch black ceiling, the occasional flash of light from a passing trucker lighting up the room.

“Mmmmmm, stop bumping around.”

Daybreak. I had passed out at some point, but it didn’t feel like it. Audrey was still wrapped around my shoulder, so I peeked under the sheets with my free hand. No stab wounds. My tailbone ached, as it had ever since I’d hitchhiked to Portland, but otherwise I felt fine.

“Let go of me.”

“You’re so warm,” she drowsily whined. “I can’t help it.”

I gently rolled her off me so I could snatch my phone off the nightstand. The clock read 10:33.

“Now look who’s the slowpoke.”

“What time is it?”

“Ten-thirty. I vaguely recall you offering to cook scrambled eggs and bacon today.”

“Hold on, I need to get dressed first.”

I went downstairs to check on the cats. As I emerged into the kitchen, a foul odor smacked me in the face.

“What the hell… oh Christ.”

I spotted the Windex and paper towels I’d left on the ground, flitting my eyes over to the feline shit smears on the bathroom floor. I hiked my shirt over my nose and stumbled over to wipe up the mess.

“Ugh, what’s that smell?” Audrey griped from the stairwell.

“Garfield took a crap in the bathroom last night,” I yelled back. “Because I don’t pet him enough.”

“Well, why don’t you pet him?”

“Petting a cat is a reward for good behavior, not something I do to forestall bad behavior,” I retorted. “But you can pet him if you want. You get breakfast ready, I’ll take care of the cats.”

Audrey got the food out of the fridge while I emptied the litter boxes and spooned out a can of Fancy Feast for the cats. It was like last night had never happened. I went outside to set up a table so we could eat on the back deck.

“What are we gonna do today?” Audrey inquired between bites of bacon.

“I was gonna take you up to Cooperstown, but it’s too late now; it’s like an hour-and-a-half there and back. Your flight leaves at what, ten-thirty?”


“Then we definitely don’t have time. I’ll take you to a few places around Syracuse and we’ll eat dinner.” I paused to stuff another clump of egg in my mouth. “Don’t wear heels, ’cause we’re going hiking.”

Like yesterday, Audrey gathered up the dirty dishes while I went outside to do some more chores. After I was finished an hour later, I came back in and found her on the couch stroking Garfield, his gelatinous body in her lap.

“Geez, you’re really taking a liking to that cat.” I sat down.

“He’s a lot heavier than I thought.”

“Now you see why I’m not sympathetic to his constant demands to be fed?”

Garfield leapt off of her lap and hit the floor with a smack.

“By the way, I finished vacuuming the upstairs and did your laundry for you.”

“Thanks. Guessing laundry’s still in the dryer?”

“Yeah. Anything else you need me to do?”

“Well…” I wanted to see how far I could push this girl. “…you could go down on me.”

What?” Audrey looked at me like I had asked her to gargle bleach.

“Well my dear, sometimes when a girl loves a man, he takes off his pants and she…”

“I know what it is, you jerk!”

“You’ll scrub my toilet, but you won’t suck my dick?” My cock strained against my jeans.

“No! I’m not putting your di… your pe… that in my mouth!”

“You’re so adorable when you’re trying not to swear.”

“God, you’re so gross!” Audrey angrily stood up and walked away. “No.”

“And here I thought you loved me.” She stopped and turned back to me.

“I do, but…”

You do know this is really going to suck for you, right? And not in a fun way.

“C’mon, I’ll show you how. Get on your knees.”

As if guided by some long-dormant programming routine, Audrey silently assumed the position. I unzipped my jeans and let it hang out. She stared at it for a good five seconds before taking me into her mouth.

“Okay, now this is import…ANT, AH AH… no teeth, okay? Open your jaw wider. No teeth. Now, slide back and forth in nice even strokes.”


“And no hands. Use your tongue and your mouth.” I ran my fingers through her locks, the scent of her shampoo filling my nostrils. “Glide your tongue… don’t, don’t go too far back. I don’t want you to throw up all over me.”

She kept murmuring yes, but her body wasn’t obeying. I felt her incisors scraping the underside of my dick.

“Get it out, take it out,” I pulled out of her mouth. “Get your shirt off. And bra.”

She wordlessly obeyed.

“Now put it back in.” I cupped her right breast in my hand. Her nipple was hard.


“And look at me when you do it. Open your eyes.”

The fluffing worked; I was back to full mast. Audrey’s bright eyes gazed into mine, her desire to please me overpowering her palpable disgust. Mount Vesuvius was due for another explosion.

“Okay, okay, I’m gonna come so slow down a bit,” I warned. “Slow down, you’re gonna swallow, I don’t want you to choke… slow, slow, slow.”

I kept running my left hand through her hair while using my right to stroke the base of my shaft, which she couldn’t reach. It was gonna be a big one.

“Okay, gonna come, be careful, gonna come, gonna come… HAAAAAAH!”

I erupted into Audrey’s mouth. The size and force of my load caught her by surprise, knocking her head back a couple inches. After a five second delay, she swallowed it in a loud GULP. She turned her head away from me to cough and gag in disgust, small gobs of semen-saliva falling out of her mouth. My dick was sore from her teeth, but I was weirdly satisfied.

“How… how was it?” she panted like she’d been drowning.

Best blowjob I’ve ever gotten, mainly because you did exactly what I told you to do.

“You need some practice.” I smirked.

We locked lips, my scent still on her breath.

“And this is Westcott Street, where the hippies hang out.”

“Nice. You’ve written about that place before, right?” Audrey pointed to the Westcott Theater across the street. “Looks familiar.”

“Yeah, I went to see Dirty Projectors there a couple months back. Place used to be an actual theater, but the owner went bankrupt a few years ago and he had to sell the place.”

Didn’t you get an autograph from Dave Longstreth?


“What was he like?”

“He was a class act. I only talked to him for a couple minutes though.”

I led Audrey back around to my car, outside of Thornhill Park.

“I don’t see why you complain about Syracuse so much, Matt. I’d love to live here.”

“You didn’t spend the first eighteen years of your life here.”

“I live in a town of like 500 people! You’ve got music venues, the college is nice, Armory Square, that huge mall…”

“Destiny USA.” I spat it out like it was an obscenity.

“I’m just saying, it’s not so bad here.”

“Trust me, a month here and you’d change your tune pretty fast. This place, Central New York, it has no character, no life. People here are depressing. They go to work, they lock themselves in their houses at night, they don’t talk to their neighbors or have any interest in anything. And the city’s turning into a giant ghetto.”

I paused to put the key in the ignition.

“That’s what I love about the Midwest; people trust each other. They talk to each other. They’re curious about strangers. I turn up in a bar in a small town in North Dakota and everyone wants to talk to me. In New York, you might as well be invisible.”

“I guess you have a point.”

“Trust me Audrey, you have no idea how good you have it.”

As if on cue, we were rolling through the ghetto between Genesee and 690 with its cavalcade of burned-out houses and convenience stores proudly flashing their “We Accept EBT” signs.

“Let’s see,” I was thinking out loud. “I’ve shown you the upside-down traffic light, Armory Square, SU, Clark Reservation, Eastwood… I think that’s it. I’m starving, let’s get dinner.”

“Where are we going?”

“One of the few things you can’t get in the Midwest: decent Italian.” I turned onto the on-ramp.

The airport was deserted on a Sunday night, like usual. I rolled up to the Delta terminal and killed the gas so I could help Audrey with her suitcase.

“Well, this is it,” I said, putting her suitcase on the sidewalk.

She hugged me. Part of me was genuinely sad to see her go.

May you have everything you want, dumbass.

“I’ll miss you,” she said. “Visit me in Duluth.”


“I’m holding you to that.”

“Uh-huh. You be a good girl now. Get good grades and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

I patted her on the head. She giggled like she was a puppy doing tricks for a bone.

“Okay, bye!”

“Bye, Audrey.”

She turned and walked into the terminal, pausing to wave at me just before she went inside. I waved back as I fired the car back up. As I pulled out and peeled back towards 81, I stared at Audrey’s number on my phone, which was plugged into the stereo and playing Sonic Youth’s Dirty.

She’s a crazy bitch. Cut her off.

She’s not crazy, she’s just young and confused. Hold on to it.

I clicked the phone off as I turned onto the Interstate, the sky ablaze in purple light.

To be continued… (Epilogue)