**This week’s prompt, to which Ivan and I both wrote, is a bad day at work. Enjoy!**
The front door slammed loud enough to make me jerk, and I jogged in to see my husband forcefully ripping at his tie. His hair was a mess, the way it was when he continually ran his fingers through it, and he was wearing his glasses, a sure sign he’d spent long hours squinting at minuscule code. That he’d forgotten to take them off–he only needed them for reading–spoke more to his state of mind than anything else.
Toby’s scowl was epic level. “The worst day in the history of days.”
“What happened?” I asked sympathetically, moving forward so I could take his bag from him. He dropped it on the ground before I got to him, and I winced as his laptop clunked against the hardwood. It wouldn’t hurt it. The thing was sturdy and encased, but Toby was usually must more careful with his precious electronics than that.
“Murphy’s Law in full effect.”
I hid the smile because his boss, who was a disaster of a man, was Mr. Murphy. Murphy’s Law was the patronizing name we called him, because everything he touched turned to crap. We were both convinced Toby had ultimate job security because he was constantly cleaning up messes his boss created.
“What did he do this time?”
“Actual Murphy’s Law.” Toby kicked off one shoe, then the other, both hitting the wall with a dull thud. I hope he hadn’t dented the drywall. “The server went down. Just after we got it fixed and running again, a stupid ass intern searching porn on his computer infected the whole thing with a virus. And then? The auditors showed up at the same time as the state labor board made a surprise inspection. We had wires pulled out and computers everywhere. It was a fucking clusterfuck from start to finish. And Mr. Murphy ran around like a decapitated chicken, blaming me and Raj and Darrell like it was somehow our fault.”
Toby let out a long suffering sigh, pulled off his glasses and tossed them on the end table, then rubbed hard at his eyes. His whole body was filled with tension, and I wanted to soothe it.
“Why don’t you get out of your work clothes and then come outside?”
He looked at me from the corner of his eye. “I’m not in the mood, Simon.”
I fought another smile. “Just please?”
He didn’t say a word, just stomped to the stairs and then up to our room. I detoured to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of wine, two glasses, and then went outside. By the time he joined me on the back deck, the hot tub was running, and I was perched on the edge, holding out a glass of his favorite Merlot. He tried for a smile that didn’t reach his eyes, but after taking the glass, he slid into the water. I joined him, maneuvering behind him, so I could rub his shoulders. I could feel all the knots, and I worked slowly and surely, rubbing them all until they disappeared.
Long moments later, he released a breath and relaxed back into me, letting me hold him and support his weight. His head fell back onto my shoulder and I lifted a wet hand to brush his hair out of his eyes, before kissing his cheek, lingering a little, taking in his smell.
Toby finally smiled.
“This is exactly what I needed.”
I chuckled against his cheek. “Yeah, I know. Shitty days are the worst.”
“Coming home to you always makes it better.”
“That’s why you married me.” I sucked on his neck, going right for his hot spot, and he melted into a boneless heap. I could have had him right there in the water, except we’d used the last of the waterproof lube last time we’d been out here. I made a mental note to get some more next time I was out.
“Thanks, Sy. I love you.” His voice was barely above a whisper, and if I hadn’t been right there, I wouldn’t have heard it.
“As I love you.” I assured him. I pulled him tighter against me, so he could feel all of me, and the very last bit of tension he’d been holding onto disappeared in an instant.
As the sun made it’s final descent, sinking below the treeline, I felt true contentment wash over me. I didn’t matter how many bad days he had, I’d always be there to help him relax out of it. That’s what true love was all about.