When Rhea found out who Beth was and what she had done, she had cut all ties with her and her kids. Knowing that it was only a matter of time, she’d be seeing her body on the news and the less Marcus felt, the better. Sure, she knew the business he was in had more than a little bloodshed, but she wasn’t going to let it affect her son. She felt a little betrayed as well, knowing that she had loaned money to the woman who had shot her son’s father.
But time went on and Beth still wasn’t dead. The pregnancy ploy was smart, but couldn’t last. She'd heard that Beth had faked a miscarriage, but it confirmed what Rhea suspected, that they had been sleeping together. For some reason with Beth, he hadn’t been careful. That said a lot.
Now it was weird, everyone played nice. Beth still worked with, or for Christopher (she didn’t want to know). They had this strange dance going on between them. Honestly, she wished they’d just get on with it.
It wasn’t like they weren’t around each other for legitimate reasons. When Beth had moved, she ended up in Marcus’ school district. Jane and Marcus saw each other every day, and played on the same soccer team. Rhea was almost ready to tell them to just fuck already, so she didn’t have to witness the sexual tension anymore.
“Disgusting, aren’t they?” Someone asked, as they plopped themselves onto the bench next to her. Turning, Rhea saw Annie sitting there, and gave her a tight smile.
“Something like that. I just don’t get them, the whole concept of them.”
“You and me both, sister. One minute they’re planning each other’s murders, and next they’re eyefucking like there’s no tomorrow.”
Nodding, Rhea rolled her eyes. “You know it’s not that I want to be with him, because promise me, I don’t need that kind of stress in my life anymore. But, he’s great with Marcus, but, they don’t make sense and yet they do.” She threw her hands up in frustration, as they both watched Beth and Rio talking in his car, while the kids practiced.
“I get it. I mean the amount of times he’s held a gun to her head, she hired a hitman
for god sakes!”
Rhea looked at her with wide eyes. “She did? Does he know?”
Annie nodded. “He knows, and she did call it off, but it’s like foreplay for them.” She groused.
The news shouldn’t surprise her. Rio and Beth were like that fire that you warn your kids not to touch; they went and touched it, and are now on fire together. Maybe it was a good thing. They couldn’t burn up anyone else.
“Well, it's starting to feel like we’re going to be one big dysfunctional family.”
Annie snorted. “I’ll bring the drinks next time, we can vent it out.”
Rhea laughed. “Might take you up on that.”
The next time she sees them, they’re at school. The school’s version of Cinderella, with Marcus playing a footman, and Jane is a stepsister. Both of them having a blast hamming it up. They’re all in one row, other than Dean, who’s a row ahead and to the side, with Kenny. She’s met that waste of time, and if she had to compare Dean and Rio, she’d pick Rio too. But that was not the point.
They didn’t sit next to each other. Emma was between them, but he could still reach a curl of her hair that he played with. Annie had told Rhea that at one point he had told Beth not to cut her hair. Just the idea of it made Rhea roll her eyes.
After the show, they took the kids for pizza. Which had its tense moments, until Dean stopped trying to get Beth’s attention, and left easing some of the tension. He had promised to be at the soccer game the next morning, but even Rhea was used to him not showing up.
She and Annie got together for wine a lot more now. It was easier sharing the disbelief with someone safe.
“You know, I keep expecting them to implode or something.” Annie grumbled as she stuffed a jalapeno popper in her mouth. Their show of choice was House Hunters, where they could snark at the people with stupid complaints.
“At first, I did.” Rhea admitted, as she drank some wine. “I mean, we live on the outskirts of a criminal enterprise. Then there they are, making eyes at each other.”
“It was worse before they fucked the first time around. Like pulling pigtails kind of shit.”
“Really?” Rhea leaned in with interest.
“Yup, he’s got all these nicknames for her. I swear he gets off on her calling him an idiot. Even that first time, she’s scared shitless and getting in his face. My sister is crazy though.”
“Clearly, she shot him.”
“That was his own fault, who do you think gave her the gun after scaring the shit out of her?” Annie countered.
“Are you serious? That pendejo, he does some stupid things, but that tops the list. He never mentioned that part. I’d have shot him too.” Rhea muttered.
While she still didn’t appreciate Beth nearly killing the father of her son, she could certainly understand the desire to. The man doesn’t think!
So here they were again at school. It was the annual bake sale and craft fair, and although Beth didn’t run the PTA these days, this school certainly appreciated her efforts more. Naturally, she had loaded them up with goods to sell at much higher cost, than the average rice crispy square. Rhea was more than a little impressed with their success this year.
After a few hours, Rhea noticed Rio and Beth slipping away, and her curiosity just got the better of her. Walking behind them, she caught them slipping into a classroom. Rio looked over his shoulder and she could have sworn he had seen her, but the door closed behind him, allowing Rhea to let out a sigh of relief.
She gave it a couple more minutes before she walked past the room. There were windows on either side of the door, and Rhea only wanted a peek at what they were doing. She crouched behind the actual door so she could see in.
To her surprise, Rhea was given a full view of Rio pinning Beth to a desk. He had her blouse open and was mouthing on her breasts, with Beth’s head flung back. When Beth reached up to pull Rio’s face to hers, Beth’s eyes met Rhea’s causing Rhea to gasp. To her surprise, Beth didn’t stop. They were kissing as Beth worked on undoing Rio’s belt. Watching them made Rhea feel some sort of something, she couldn’t name it, but she also couldn’t look away.
The way Beth and Rio moved together was foreign to Rhea. They oddly fit together, like a perfect puzzle. His hard edges with her soft curves. Once again, her eyes met Beth’s and Beth smiled, which allowed Rhea to relax a little.
Rio hiked Beth’s skirt up, showing her pale thighs as he gripped her tightly. Rhea thought for a moment he had whispered something to Beth, as he kissed up her neck. Minutes later, when Beth was catching her breath, she whispered into his ear, and smiled.
For a moment, Rio’s body froze before his attention returned to his quarry, sucking a hickey into her neck. He turned Beth slightly, giving Rhea a better view of both of them, as they continued without pause. Rhea watched in fascination, now it seemed to make sense, as to why they worked. She now had tea to share with Annie too.
The next week Annie was over and she noticed a bouquet of flowers on the counter. “You getting some honey, Rhea?”
Rhea was grabbing them both a beer, and joined her on the couch. “No, just a thank you of sorts, you know.” She told her with a shrug.
“I do have some news though.”
“Oooh do tell!” Annie told her eagerly.
“They’re doin’ it, again.”Rhea told her smugly. “Knew they wouldn’t be able to keep their hands off each other for very long. Hot and heavy.”
“How did you find out?”
“Caught them in a classroom. Didn’t say anything, but wow.” she told Annie with a shake of her head.
“Are you kidding me! At school?”
“During the craft fair last week. They snuck off, and I was curious, so I followed.”
“I’m guessing they didn’t catch you, otherwise Beth would have lost her shit.”
“Mmm, “Rhea agreed as she took a sip of her beer. “I got lucky.”
“Totally.” Annie agreed as she settled into the couch.
Inside Rhea’s pocket burned, the card that had come with the flowers.
If you enjoyed the show, there’ll be another viewing at the soccer match, on Saturday.